2 Prisoners Escape Upstate New York Jail

On Saturday, two prisoners escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York. The prisoners, who are both convicted murderers, escaped around 5:30 a.m. and are still at-large, CNN reports. This is the first time since the prison’s inception in 1865 that a prisoner has escaped. Clinton Correctional Facility is the largest prison in New York.

The prisoners, David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, lived next to one another in side-by-side cells. They slowly but surely cut through a steel wall in their cell to, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it, escape “down an elaborate maze of pipes into tunnels” that they eventually exited through a manhole cover, reports CNN.

The cells are checked every two hours by guards, but apparently the prisoners tricked the guards into thinking they were sleeping in their cells by arranging hoodies on their beds.

At a press event, Gov. Cuomo announced that over 200 law enforcement agents are searching for the prisoners and that an investigation is underway.

“[The escape] was elaborate and sophisticated. It involved drilling through steel walls and steel pipes. So this was not easily accomplished. The commissioner of undertaking is going to carry out a full investigation, we want to understand exactly how it happened. There’s a suggestion that they somehow needed power tools to accomplish this. How did they get the power tools? We will undertake an investigation to make sure this is the first and last time someone escapes from this facility.”

CNN notes that the facility has undergone maintenance recently, so it’s possible the prisoners acquired the power tools from workers.

Adario Strange of Mashable compared Sweat and Matt’s escape to something out of The Shawshank Redemption. In the film Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) digs open a hole in his cell to escape into the sewers of the jail. Dufresne then gets his hands on a large sum of money after escaping — which we can assume isn’t likely for the escaped New York prisoners.

Gov. Cuomo tweeted to illustrate how the prisoners escaped.

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Authorities are searching for the escaped prisoners around Clinton Correctional Facility, including in the woods and the greater Dannemora area. Another tweet by Gov. Cuomo warned that the prisoners are dangerous and that people should keep their distance if the two are sighted.

[Photo from Google Images]