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Authorities say two men serving life sentences at an upstate New York prison escaped from the facility using power tools.
According to the New York Times, the New York State Police say David Sweat and Richard Matt—who resided in adjoining cells—fled Dannemora, N.Y.'s Clinton Correctional Facility sometime between Friday night or Saturday morning. Guards discovered both of them missing from their cells during a routine check yesterday morning. The Times adds that Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, used the tools to make the bold escape from the prison's maximum-security section—the first time this feat has been accomplished, and the first escape period in 150 years:
Officials said the men, who lived in adjoining cells, drilled a hole through the steel wall at the back of their cells and walked onto a catwalk. They then climbed down and used the tools to drill through a maze of pipes and tunnels before exiting through a manhole on a nearby street, officials said.
Per the Times, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the escape "extraordinary" after being briefed about the situation.
The Associated Press reports that Cuomo also referred to Sweat and Matt as "two dangerous individuals." Matt was serving 25 years to life for the 1997 kidnapping and fatal beating of a man, while Sweat was sentenced to life in prison for murdering a sheriff's deputy in 2002. Furthermore, Matt had previously escaped from an Erie County, N.Y. jail in 1986 — but was eventually apprehended.
As of last night, a large manhunt for Sweat and Matt continued.
[via New York Times]
UPDATE: New York state is now offering a $100,000 reward for any information which might lead to the arrest or location of the two individuals. The latest theories from local authorities suggest that the pair might have crossed the Canadian border shortly after their escape, though numerous roadblocks have yet to determine anything beyond speculation. According to the New York Times, it is now believed that Sweat and Matt may have employed outside help.