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6 Inmates Escape Via Tunnel Dug With Power Tools

January 11, 1997| From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Six inmates who tunneled out of a maximum-security prison used a jackhammer and other prison-issue power tools, along with blueprints of the place, guards said.

The men--two of them convicted killers--apparently used tools assigned for use by inmates working on a steam-pipe installation project, according to the guards, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some prisoners worked unsupervised on the pipe-installation project for as much as an hour at a time, one guard said. The project was in a cellar under the prison machine shop.

Timothy Collins, spokesman for the state prison, refused to say what tools were used in the breakout Wednesday from the 115-year-old prison.

Collins said all power tools are strictly supervised and must be signed out. He declined to say how the inmates might have gotten the items.

The fugitives, an experienced welder among them, were still on the run Friday.

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