|There are about 583,500 electricians working in the United States, some of whom wind up doing work in prisons. It’s these electricians who are now being investigated in New York State, after two convicted killers used the sort of power tools electricians would have to escape a maximum security correctional facility.
According to officials, prisoners David Sweat and Richard Matt cut through steel walls at the back of their adjacent cells, shimmied their way down a six-story catwalk, cut another hole in a metal drainpipe, and then crawled for 400 feet to emerge from a manhole blocks away from the prison.
In order to cut through such obstacles, the duo would have needed serious power tools. Although the prison does have the equipment capable of doing such work, each and every power tool was accounted for.
Investigators are now interviewing hundreds of civilian employees and contractors who have been extensively renovating the 150-year-old prison.
“We’re going through the civilian employees and private contractors first,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on theToday show. “I’d be shocked if a correction guard was involved in this, but they definitely had help, otherwise, they couldn’t have done this on their own, even from the equipment point of view.”
Charles Ewing, a forensic psychologist and attorney who works at the University at Buffalo Law School, told BuzzFeed that such facilities as the one the prisoners escaped from are very secure.
“But from time to time, they clearly have to rely upon outsiders to do certain kinds of jobs,” explained Ewing. “I’ve been to facilities when I’ve seen contractors coming and going, but I never thought much about the work they were doing.”
Even after the baffling puzzle of where the power tools came from, the fact that the prisoners were even able to escape with such help is still incredible.
“This particular facility was built in the mid-19th century — it”s like fortresses, the walls are huge,” Ewing told BuzzFeed. “Even if you have the tools, to break out from one of these facilities, it’s extraordinary.”
Cuomo has also announced a $100,000 reward for any information that might lead to the capture of the killers.