Interpol has issued an Orange Notice, or an international alert, to all of its 190 member countries to help track down the three fugitives who escaped from a jail near Quebec City over the weekend via helicopter.
The agency says the escapees — Yves Denis, 35, Denis Lefebvre, 53, and Serge Pomerleau, 49 — should be considered dangerous, and members of the public are advised to contact police immediately and not to approach the men if they're spotted.
The three men were in the Orsainville Detention Centre while awaiting trial on charges related to drug trafficking, murder and gangsterism.
Quebec premier demands answers
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has ordered a probe into penal and government agencies to find out how inmates were able to break out of jail using a helicopter in two separate incidents in the past 15 months.
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The premier announced the internal review on his way into caucus on Wednesday.
'It’s not acceptable. I’m not happy at all with this.' — Philippe Couillard, Quebec premier
"Two escapes by helicopter in Quebec is not acceptable. Two is too many," he said.
"It’s not acceptable. I’m not happy at all with this. We’re going to deal with this, first bring the people back into jail, and then make sure this doesn’t happen again."
Couillard said he wants answers from Quebec provincial police, the Public Security Ministry, the Justice Ministry and jail authorities.
He said he wants to know why the government received "contradictory" information from various levels of authority following the most recent jailbreak.
"The government is not satisfied with the flow of information, the level of information and the coherence of the information that it has received," he said.
Earlier this week, a police source confirmed to Radio-Canada that Sûreté du Québec investigators had details about the possible escape as far back as March, but nobody took the plan seriously.
Minister of Public Security Lise Thériault is expected to announce more details by Friday, including the inquiry's mandate, a timetable and the person who will oversee the investigation.
Quebec's history of helicopter jailbreaks
The three men soared to their freedom after climbing into a helicopter that had landed in the jail yard, marking the second time in just over a year that Quebec inmates have escaped from jail via helicopter.
In March 2013, two inmates made a similar escape from a St-Jérôme detention centre in March 2013, but they were caught by police within a few hours.