By Victoria Cavaliere
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two convicted murderers have escaped a maximum security prison in New York state near the Canadian border and were the subject of a manhunt on Saturday, U.S. police said.
The two men were missing at early morning bed check in the Clinton Correctional Facility, a men's state prison in Dannemora, about 40 miles (65 km) south of the Canadian province of Quebec.
Both men are considered a danger to the public, New York state police said. It was unclear how or when the men escaped.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had been set to attend Saturday's Belmont Stakes, canceled those plans in order to attend a briefing about the manhunt, his office said.
Police have set up roadblocks around the Dannemora area and were asking people to be on the lookout and alert authorities if the two prisoners were located. Authorities stressed that no one should approach the men.
The convicts were identified as Richard Matt, 48, serving 25 years to life for three counts of murder, kidnapping and robbery. He stands 6 feet tall, 210 pounds and had black hair and a tattoo reading "Mexico Forever".
The other prisoner, David Sweat, 34, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murder of a sheriff's deputy. He is 5'11", 165 pounds and has brown hair and tattoos on his left bicep and right fingers.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Dominic Evans)