© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Convicts Used Power Tools To Escape Prison

New York State Police

 Updated 6/7/2015

More than 200 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were searching for two prisoners that escaped from the maximum security prison in Dannemora on Saturday.

This is the first escape ever from the maximum security portion of the Clinton Correctional facility at Dannemora.  Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the facility and the area the inmates escaped, calling it an elaborate plot….

“It encompassed drilling through steel walls and steel pipes.  So this was not easily accomplished.  We want to find out exactly how it happened. How did they get the power tools, from who?  So we’ll undertake a full investigation,” said Cuomo.

Both escaped inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat are convicted murderers.

Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America Sunday, Cuomo said there were contractors working to make upgrades at the prison that was built in the 1860s.

The governor said other inmates must have heard the escape.

“I chatted with a couple of the inmates myself. I said ‘You must be a very heavy sleeper,’ you know. They were heard. They had to be heard.”

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.