A manhunt is underway for three inmates who escaped from a Southern California jail Friday after cutting through steel bars and rapelling down the prison walls with improvised rope, the Orange County Register reported Saturday.

Sometime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, Hossein Nayeri, 37, Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Bac Duong, 43, escaped from the Central Jail Complex in Santa Ana, Calif. The three men, who have all been charged with violent felonies, remain at large. They are the first inmates to have escaped from the Central Jail Complex in more than 20 years.

A spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department told the Register that the inmates apparently cut through half-inch steel bars, entered a plumbing tunnel and climbed on to an unsecured part of the jail's roof. From there, they used improvised ropes possibly made from bedsheets to descend the approximate four-story drop and barbed wire fence separating them from the outside. They are believed to have fled on foot from there.

“This was clearly a well-thought out and planned escape,” Hallock said.

Nayeri and Duong were held without bail, and Tieu, who was charged with murder, had his bail set at $1 million. Nayeri is one of four people charged with kidnapping and torturing the owner of a marijuana dispensary. Nayeri and two other men are accused of attacking the man with a blowtorch and cutting off his penis. He skipped town and flew to Iran before he could be captured by authorities, but was eventually arrested by the FBI in Prague.