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Canada

Quebec sees 2nd jailbreak with helicopter

  • Police check a car by the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

    Police check a car by the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

  • The prison yard in front of the Orsainville Detention Center is seen near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

    The prison yard in front of the Orsainville Detention Center is seen near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

  • Serge Pomerleau is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped late Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)

    Serge Pomerleau is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped late Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)

  • Yves Denis is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped lete Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)

    Yves Denis is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped lete Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)

  • Denis Lefebvre is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped late Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)

    Denis Lefebvre is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped late Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)

  • Police cars are parked in front of the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

    Police cars are parked in front of the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

  • Police cars are seen in front of the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

    Police cars are seen in front of the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)

  • In this July 22, 2010, photo, public security buses wait at outside the prison at the Orsainville Detention Center in Quebec City, Quebec.  Police said on Saturday, June 7, 2014, that three inmates have escaped from the detention center in Quebec City with the help of a helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

    In this July 22, 2010, photo, public security buses wait at outside the prison at the Orsainville Detention Center in Quebec City, Quebec. Police said on Saturday, June 7, 2014, that three inmates have escaped from the detention center in Quebec City with the help of a helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

  • In this July 22, 2010, photo, public security buses wait at outside the prison at the Orsainville Detention Center in Quebec City, Quebec.  Police said on Saturday, June 7, 2014, that three inmates have escaped from the detention center in Quebec City with the help of a helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

    In this July 22, 2010, photo, public security buses wait at outside the prison at the Orsainville Detention Center in Quebec City, Quebec. Police said on Saturday, June 7, 2014, that three inmates have escaped from the detention center in Quebec City with the help of a helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

  • Police check a car by the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)
  • The prison yard in front of the Orsainville Detention Center is seen near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)
  • Serge Pomerleau is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped late Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)
  • Yves Denis is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped lete Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)
  • Denis Lefebvre is shown in this police handout photo. Quebec Provincial Police say three inmates have escaped late Saturday June 7, 2014 from the Orsainville Detention Centre in Quebec City with the help of a green coloured helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Surete Du Quebec)
  • Police cars are parked in front of the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)
  • Police cars are seen in front of the Orsainville Detention Center near Quebec City on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Three inmates have escaped from the center with the help of a helicopter, police said late Saturday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Francis Vachon)
  • In this July 22, 2010, photo, public security buses wait at outside the prison at the Orsainville Detention Center in Quebec City, Quebec.  Police said on Saturday, June 7, 2014, that three inmates have escaped from the detention center in Quebec City with the help of a helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)
  • In this July 22, 2010, photo, public security buses wait at outside the prison at the Orsainville Detention Center in Quebec City, Quebec.  Police said on Saturday, June 7, 2014, that three inmates have escaped from the detention center in Quebec City with the help of a helicopter. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

The search widened yesterday for three inmates who escaped with the help of a helicopter from a detention center in Quebec City as dusk approached a day earlier.

It was the second helicopter- aided inmate escape in Quebec in two years.

The three men escaped from the Orsainville Detention Centre in suburban Quebec City about 7:45 p.m. Saturday with the help of a green- colored helicopter.

The chopper landed in the courtyard of the detention center, which has barbed-wire fencing and a watch post, and then quickly took off with the three inmates, heading west toward Trois-Rivieres or Montreal, the police said.

Authorities were put on alert across Quebec, in the rest of Canada and in the United States, according to provincial police.

“We have cooperation with all the police forces across the country and abroad also,” said Sgt. Gregory Gomez. “We have many, many officers who are scattering all the areas possible. Investigators are, of course, checking every lead.”

The police were reluctant to provide many details about their investigation for fear the escapees could be monitoring media reports.

The escapees were being held at the detention center waiting to stand trial. It was not clear what charges they were facing. The police released photos of the three men on social media and appealed to the public for help but warned anyone who spotted them not to approach and immediately contact the police.

In March of last year, a helicopter pilot was forced at gunpoint to pluck two inmates from the St-Jerome prison on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Two inmates climbed up a rope ladder into the hovering helicopter and fled. The police caught the two escapees and the two suspects who hijacked the helicopter within a few hours of the escape.

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