( 4UMF NEWS ) Two Prisoners Escape Using Power Tools:
A pair of convicted murderers used power tools and cunning to bust out of their maximum security prison in upstate Dannemora — leaving behind only a taunting note and some bundled up sweat shirts as decoys under their cot blankets.
Stunned correction officers at Clinton Correctional Facility found the empty beds at 5:30 a.m. Saturday in the adjacent cells that David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, had called home, officials said.
The crudely made dummies were just the opening scene of the daring “Shawshank Redemption”-style escape, which continued to unfold with a massive manhunt into Saturday night.
Officials soon found that the two convicts had somehow gotten their hands on power tools strong enough to cut through the steel back walls of their cells.
From there, they clambered along a 6-foot-high catwalk to access a twisting series of pipes and tunnels, which they also cut their way into.
They taped a note next to an opening they cut in a pipe, reading “Have A Nice Day.”
The two then made their way through the pipe and climbed up through a manhole onto a nearby street, disappearing into the darkness some 20 miles south of Canada.
How they acquired tools, and how they found their way through the maze of tunnels and pipes, remains a mystery, officials said.
“It may have been over a period of time,” through trial and error, that the two devised their escape route, said Anthony Annucci, the acting commissioner of the State Department of Corrections.
But not to worry — Sheriff Cuomo is on the case.
Gov. Cuomo tweeted a picture of himself investigating the hole the two had cut into one of the cell walls as part of the break.
“It was an elaborate plot,” Cuomo said after he retraced the escape route with law-enforcement officials later Saturday.
Matt and Sweat “are two dangerous individuals,” the governor warned.
Sweat is serving a life sentence without parole for the 2002 murder of a Broome County sheriff’s deputy. Matt is serving a sentence of 25 years to life for kidnapping a man and beating him to death in Niagara County in 1997.
Sweat is 5-foot-11 with brown hair and green eyes and weighs 165 pounds. Matt is 6 feet tall, with black hair and hazel eyes, and weighs 210 pounds. He sports numerous tattoos, including one on his back reading, “Mexico Forever.”
Meanwhile, Annucci said prison officials are checking to see if contractors at the facility are missing any equipment.
Cuomo said the daring escape was the first since the prison was built in 1865.
Maj. Charles Guess of the State Police said more than 200 officers, plus bloodhounds and helicopters, were searching for the men in addition to our intrepid governor.
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