A French Prisoner Mounted A Daring Helicopter Escape From A Jail Just Outside Of Paris

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El Chapo‘s 2015 prison escape via a sneakily dug tunnel and a motorbike has become the stuff of pop cultural legend, French gangster Redoine Faid may have just superseded him. That’s because the notorious bank robber and convicted cop killer escaped from a jail just outside of Paris with the help of “several heavily armed men who created a diversion at the prison entrance while the helicopter landed in the courtyard.” Yes, that’s right. He fled the prison in the Gonesse area near Paris in a helicopter.

According to BBC News, this is Faid’s “second prison break.” Back in 2013, he escaped imprisonment “after seizing four guards as human shields and blowing several doors off with dynamite.” That successful escape attempt was made less than half an hour after his arrival at a prison in northern France, and he spent around six weeks on the run before he was caught. Sunday’s jailbreak, however, was far more complex:

French outlet BFMTV reports that the men, hooded and dressed in black, burst into the prison at around 11:20 local time (09:20 GMT) on Sunday.

They had earlier taken a helicopter instructor hostage from a small flying club in Fontenay-Trésigny, where he was waiting for a student, and ordered him to go to the prison. Reports suggest the pilot has been released and was taken to hospital in shock.

The helicopter was later seen touching down not far from a major motorway, where Faid and his accomplices reportedly switched getaway vehicles multiple times. As daring as this all is, however, it’s amazingly not the first time a French prisoner has used a helicopter to escape confinement. As detailed in “Jailbreak,” the second episode of Netflix’s Mythbusters-esque show White Rabbit Project, Pascal Payet famously fled imprisonment via helicopter in 2001 and 2007.

(Via BBC News)