US police are hunting for two convicted murderers after their escape from a maximum security prison in New York State on Saturday.
Using heavy duty power tools, the men, identified as Richard Matt and David Sweat, escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, through walls, pipes and tunnels. The two men had been in neighbouring cells and begun by creating a hole in the wall between them, according to a prison official.
They had also left clothing and other items in their beds to make it appear as if they were asleep in order to delay the search. It is still unknown how the inmates came into possession of the power tools.
Approximately 200 members of the police force, equipped with search dogs and helicopters have been hunting for the men in the Dannemora area. The facility is located only 65 kilometres south of the Canadian border.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the escape “truly extraordinary” and has warned the population not to approach the individuals. David Sweat is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of a sheriff’s deputy. Richard Matt is serving 25 years to life for three counts of murder, robbery, as well as three counts of kidnapping.
The style of the jail break is similar to the breakout in the 1994 film “Shawshank Redemption”.
Clinton Correctional Facility is the state’s largest prison with a population of 2,689 inmates, according to the corrections department.