According to ABC News, there has been a mass escape from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in central Victoria, with seven inmates on the run after stealing several vehicles north-west of Melbourne.

Superintendent Craig Gillard said about 30 inmates were involved in a disturbance at the centre about 2:45pm and that 15 youths had escaped the facility.

Two more were captured in a paddock five kilometres from the centre on Wednesday evening. He said three cars had been stolen since the incident and were believed to have been used by the escapees.

Those on the run are believed to be travelling in three separate cars, a red hatch, a blue Falcon sedan and white Suzuki SUV. Police said they did not know which directions the vehicles were travelling in. Five inmates also climbed on the roof of the complex during the disturbance. Police said there had been no reports of injuries.

One witness said she was driving along the Calder Highway at Lockwood South when a car carrying about six young people coming in the opposite direction swerved at her car, forcing her off the road. Police said its operations response unit, the dog squad and local police were on the scene.

It is the latest disturbance following months of unrest in Victoria’s youth detention system.