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Two inmates escape Philadelphia prison, undetected for hours

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Authorities searched yesterday for two inmates – one accused of killing four people – who were gone from a Philadelphia prison for nearly 19 hours before officials knew they were missing.

Ameen Hurst, 18, and Nasir Grant, 24, escaped from the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center around 8.30pm on Sunday by cutting a hole in a fence surrounding a recreation yard, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons said.

Headcounts conducted at 11pm on Sunday, 3am on Monday, and 7am on Monday reportedly showed that all prisoners were accounted for, said Philadelphia Prisons Department Commissioner Blanche Carney. The facility became aware of the escaped inmates at about 3pm on Monday, Carney said. “We have protocols in place and those protocols were not followed,” Carney said. “That yard should have been secured, and the fence not breached.”

Mayor Jim Kenney said at a news conference on Monday evening that they want to find out exactly what happened.

“Clearly the people didn’t do what they’re supposed to do,” Kenney said.

Hurst was arrested in March 2021. He’s accused of shooting and killing a man during a holiday on 2020, said Philadelphia police deputy commissioner of investigations Frank Vanore. The other three shootings happened in March 2021.

“He’s a very dangerous individual from what we know, and we are looking for the public’s help to get him back,” Vanore said at the news conference.

Grant was being held on conspiracy drug charges and conspiracy weapons charges, Blanche said. The inmates were housed in the same unit, but different cells, she said.