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Russian prisoner escapes in hijacked chopper

MOSCOW (AP) – A murderer escaped from a Russian penal colony aboard a hijacked helicopter, but he was captured a few hours later.

Law-enforcement officials say the drama began Thursday morning when two people commandeered the helicopter owned by a private company and ordered its crew to fly to the prison near Vologda, 200 miles (300 kilometers) north of Moscow.

A rope ladder was lowered from the chopper and the murderer climbed aboard. The craft flew away, then landed, and the prisoner and the hijackers scattered.

Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Gribalkin told Russian news agencies the prisoner hijacked a taxi, but it was stopped at a police roadblock.

Gribalkin says the escaped convict was wounded while resisting arrest, but did not elaborate.

The helicopter hijackers remain at large.

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