A manhunt was under way yesterday after a prisoner being held in an Athens police precinct managed to escape from his cell by hacking his way through a wall. The Albanian national, whose identity has not been made public, managed to break out of Petralona police station, in southern Athens, by knocking a hole in the wall of his holding cell using an iron rod, officers said. His absence was discovered during yesterday morning’s roll call. The prisoner had been arrested on suspicion of grand larceny and had been in custody at the precinct since December 28. A warrant for his arrest had been issued in connection with several other crimes. Police have launched an investigation into how the suspect managed to make his audacious escape. Officers who were on duty at the station during the period in question will have to give sworn testimony as police chiefs attempt to discover how the prisoner first managed to obtain an iron rod and, secondly, how he knocked a hole in the wall without being noticed by guards.