2 inmates escape from Quebec jail in helicopter

Inmates

Two Quebec inmates climbed up a rope into a hovering helicopter to make a daring daylight escape Sunday from a jail northwest of Montreal, authorities said. Quebec provincial police said later that they had arrested three people about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the Saint-Jerome jail from which the inmates escaped.

One of those arrested was 36-year-old inmate Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau.Authorities late Sunday located the second inmate and said a security perimeter had been set up around the area where 33-year-old Danny Provencal was found. Earlier on Sunday, police received a call from the staff at the Saint-Jerome jail, reporting the escape around 2:20 p.m., said Quebec provincial police Sgt. Benoit Richard.

The jail's warden told police that Hudon-Barbeau and Provencal had grabbed a rope dropped from the helicopter to make their getaway, Richard said. Quebec provincial police tracked down the helicopter used in the escape on Sunday afternoon to Mont-Tremblant, about 53 miles (85 kilometers) away from the jail but only the chopper's pilot was still at the scene. He was taken to a local hospital, Richard said.

"He's going to be questioned later on by investigators, within the next couple of hours," Richard said, adding that it's too early to say what the pilot's role was in the escape.

According to a provincial police, Hudon-Barbeau was arrested in November on two firearm related charges and associating with people who have a criminal record. The arrest came as part of an investigation of a double murder in Quebec

A Montreal radio station, 98.5 FM, said it received a call Sunday from a man claiming to be Hudon-Barbeau, who said he was "ready to die" as he tried to evade police.

"The way they're treating me in there, it's unreal," the man told the radio station. "They won't let me be. They put me back in prison for nothing."

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