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Spoon Prison Escape: Russian Inmate Scrapes Way to Freedom

Image: Spoon Prison Escape: Russian Inmate Scrapes Way to Freedom Matrosskaya Tishina detention complex in Moscow.

By Michael Mullins   |   Wednesday, 08 May 2013 02:42 PM

In a real-life prison break seemingly from a movie plot, a 32-year-old Russian named Oleg Topalov used bed sheets and a spoon to escape Russia's maximum-security prison, Matrosskaya Tishina, early Tuesday morning.

Topalov, who prison staff described as "mentally abnormal," was awaiting trial after being accused of two counts of murder and illegal possession of firearms, The Daily Mail reported.

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"It was established that Oleg Topalov used a spoon to scrape away the cement and brickwork from the wall of the ventilation shaft in his cell," an investigator told Interfax.

After using a tablespoon to carve a hole into the ceiling of his Moscow prison cell, Topalov used the facility's ventilation system to gain access to roof.

"Because of the building being run-down, Topalov had no difficulty in widening the vent of the air-shaft, through which he got to the prison’s roof," Russian Federal Penitentiary Service representative Kristina Belousova told RIA Novosti.

Once on the prison's roof, Topalov jumped onto a neighboring building, and then used bed sheets to lower himself to the street and flee the area.

Prison officials became aware of the escape around 5 a.m. Tuesday after searching his prison cell shared with eight other inmates.

Authorities have offered a "large reward" to help locate Topalov, The Daily Mail reported. Meanwhile, Moscow police have mobilized an extensive search for him.

The 32-year-old is from Sochi, near the Georgian border. He had been held at Matrosskaya Tishina for 18 months before he managed to escape.

Opened in 1918, Matrosskaya Tishina has long had a reputation as one of Russia's worst prisons.

In the past 20 years, four inmates, including Topalov, have managed to escape the facility.

Topalov is the first inmate to successfully break out of the facility in 12 years.

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