Two inmates escape from Quebec prison in helicopter

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on March 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

SAINT-JEROME, Quebec  -- Quebec provincial police were searching Sunday for two inmates who made a daring escape by helicopter from a prison in Saint-Jerome.

Police received a call from prison staff regarding the dramatic escape around 2:20 p.m. Sunday, said Quebec police Sgt. Benoit Richard. He didn't say if the helicopter had landed on prison grounds and wouldn't provide further details about the escape.

Police found the helicopter about 53 miles (85 kilometers) away in Mont-Tremblant on Sunday afternoon, and its pilot was taken to a local hospital, Richard said.

"He's going to be questioned later on by investigators, within the next couple of hours," Richard said, adding that it's too early to say what the pilot's role was in the escape.

Richard said the two prisoners remain at large, but wouldn't confirm their identities.

A Montreal radio station, 98.5 FM, received a call Sunday from a man claiming to be one of the escapees who said he was "ready to die.”

The Saint-Jerome prison, located about 37 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of Montreal, experienced a mini-riot by about a dozen prisoners a little over a month ago.

In that incident, police were called in to secure the outside of the prison, which holds about 480 inmates, and prison staff used pepper spray to disperse the mob.

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