Tragic prisoners scaled the roof of their jail to issue a desperate plea for help during the Hurricane Katrina, an urban explorer claims.
Inmates at the Orleans Parish Prison compound found themselves cut off and abandoned in 2005 when the region was devastated by flooding.
Jay, who shares walkthroughs of creepy buildings under the name of Jays Forbidden Explorations, told Daily Star how emotional it was to tread through the sodden prison, which never re-opened.
He explained how the Louisiana correction facility was just as affected as the rest of the city, with the storm killing 1,800 people and causing damage totalling $125 billion (£88bn) in August 2005.
Jay said: "Civilians weren't the only ones left with nowhere to go. The 617 inmates inside this sky rise prison we’re left stranded with no ventilation food or water trapped in their cells some were even flooded with water up to their chest .
"Some managed to bust down the cell doors and get to the roof to write an SOS message asking for food . After the chaos was over 500 inmates were unaccounted for.
"This prison was really emotional, I mean they may be criminals to some people but they're human beings to others, including me and to know that computers got treated better during the time of a natural disaster rather than inmates is unbelievable."
What Jay struggled to wrap his head around was the discovery of bottles and bottles of drink at the prison which the inmates battling to survive had no access to.
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"They were starving with no food and water, yet I found crates and cases of Gatorade that expired in 2006, which tells me it was there during the time of hurricane Katrina," he added.
The Human Rights Watch claims in a report that officers abandoned the inmates to fend for themselves for days at the jail without food, water or ventilation.
Corinne Carey, researcher from Human Rights Watch, said: "Of all the nightmares during Hurricane Katrina, this must be one of the worst,”
“Prisoners were abandoned in their cells without food or water for days as floodwaters rose toward the ceiling.”
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Energy drink was not the only thing left at the deserted prison as Jay recalls stumbling upon medical equipment, pills, handcuffs, and even shanks made by inmates.
And 16 years since Katrina hit, the damage left behind is not only visible on the walls but the still-wet floors too.
Jay continued: "It was really insane, everything was let behind. Everything is literally there that you would see in an active prison. Just without the inmates.
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"Some of the floor still had residual water laying and of course other hurricanes have happened since then, but you can see where the flooding started"
One eerie tale Jay learned during his research is that it's claimed the screams of inmates pleading for help can still be heard.
Jay even admitted he heard unexplained noises on his way to the "Help food" message chalked on the roof intended to grab the attention of first responders in helicopters.
He said: "When we got to the third floor, there were some bangings coming from there.
"There's reports those inmates who did break free of waist-high in water in their cells, were threatened with a shotgun by a local sheriff in a boat because he didn't want the inmates jumping into the water to escape prison.
"Out of the 600 inmates that were recorded left there – there were a lot more but 600 is the number that everyone's going with – there was a lot of unfound inmates, over 500 of them were unrecorded."
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