MONTREAL - Three prisoners, deemed extremely dangerous by police, have broken out of a Canadian jail in a helicopter, local media reported, the second such daring jailbreak recently in Quebec.
In March 2013, two inmates were lifted on a hijacked helicopter from a prison north of Montreal. They were both quickly re-arrested, along with the two accomplices who had helped get them out.
Police are now asking for the public's help in tracking down Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and Serge Pomerleau, 49 -- all accused of mafia ties -- after the Saturday night jailbreak in Quebec province.
"The helicopter landed in a courtyard at the detention center," police spokeswoman Ann Mathieu told the French news channel RDI on Sunday.
The helicopter set down at 7:45 pm (2345 GMT) then took off to the west, she added.
The three escaped prisoners were accused of being the leaders of a drug trafficking network linked to the Hells Angels. They were to appear in court in January 2015 on charges of premeditated murder.
The fugitives were also facing charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy, and other crimes. A trial on those charges got underway on April 8.
The men were arrested in 2010 as part of an operation to dismantle a drug trafficking network in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, in western Quebec.
Also related to this story
8 inmates escape from Mityana prison
Kiwedde held as he tried to escape from Rakai prison