SYDNEY, N.S. - It was a brief taste of freedom.

An inmate at the Cape Breton Correctional Facility in Sydney escaped from the jail around 3 p.m. Thursday, but he was quickly apprehended -- only 500 metres away.

Justice officials say the 46-year-old man was in the facility's outdoor exercise yard when he walked away.

Correctional officers cornered him nearby.

An investigation into the escape has begun.

The man is in police custody and charges are pending.