Inmates at a high-security prison in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, killed two people and injured 10 others during an attempted prison break Thursday afternoon, state officials said.
At 3:30 p.m. ET, inmates began to set fires in the sewing plant at Pasquotank Correctional Institution, where they sew uniforms for prisoners, the state Department of Public Safety said. The incident was brought under control later in the afternoon, and no inmates escaped during the melee. The prison has a capacity of 896 inmates, with 729 inside at the time, and officials did not reveal if the dead were inmates or employees. Catherine Garcia
During numerous interviews conducted in the days after he was captured, David Sweat shared with investigators details about the tedious work and sheer luck that allowed him and fellow inmate Richard Matt to escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6.
Sources familiar with the interviews told The New York Times that Sweat, who was serving a life sentence for murder, first sawed a hole into the back of his cell, and once that was finished, started looking for an escape route through the tunnels under the prison. He was never afraid of being caught, he said, because the guards were asleep. By February, he had access to the catwalks behind the cells, and after head count at 11:30 p.m., would crawl through the hole, go down pipes, and roam the tunnels, returning by 5:30 a.m. head count. At one point, while he was trying to cut through a concrete wall, the heat from steam pipes became too hot, so he took a fan from his cell and brought it with him, using electricity from the tunnel's lights to power it.
The noise Sweat made did catch the attention of another prisoner, who asked Matt about some sounds he heard in his cell; Matt, a painter, said he was working on a frame or stretching canvas. Finally in May, a hot pipe began to cool after the prison's heat was turned off, and Sweat decided to use the pipe as a shortcut. He worked for four weeks, cutting holes into it large enough for the men to go through. They did a dry run, but when prison worker Joyce Mitchell wasn't there to pick them up when they finally escaped, there was no Plan B and they ran into the woods.
The pair eventually split up, Sweat said, and Matt was shot and killed June 26 when he refused to drop a shotgun after being cornered by police. Two days later, Sweat was found by the Canadian border, and also shot. Several of his interviews were conducted from his hospital bed, the sources said, and most of his information has been corroborated or found credible. Sweat is now being held at the maximum-security Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York, in solitary confinement. Catherine Garcia
The DNA from two escaped murderers has been found in a cabin near Wolf Pond, in the Saranac Lake region of New York. Evidence suggests that the inmates broke into the cabin in the last 24 hours.
— Carol Costello (@CarolCNN) June 22, 2015
Police have increased their presence in the region and set up a command center in Owls Head, New York.
Additionally, sources tell CBS news that a second employee at the Clinton Correctional Facility may have helped the murderers escape. David Sweat and Richard Matt have been missing since they broke out of the maximum security prison 16 days ago. Jeva Lange
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) says that investigators are "talking to several people who may have facilitated the escape" of two convicted murderers, David Sweat and Richard Matt, and that anyone found to have helped the men break out of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility last weekend will face harsh justice. "You will be convicted, and then you'll be on the other side of the prison that you've been policing, and that is not a pleasant place to be," he said.
One of the main reasons police believe Sweat and Matt had help in their escape — multiple reports suggest a key suspect is Joyce Mitchell, one of Sweat's former instructors at the prison tailor shop — is that they apparently had power tools robust enough to cut their way out of a large steel steam pipe:
Making a cut like that, especially so clean, isn't an easy task, says Larry Jeffords, owner of Jeffords Steel and Engineering in Plattsbourgh, New York. "I'm in the steel business, and I've said before, I could have sent my best men up there with an acetylene torch or a plasma cutter, and I couldn't have done a better hole," he told The Associated Press. Watch and learn in the AP video below. Peter Weber