Two prisoners, Richard Matt (48) and David Sweat (34) have escaped from a high-security prison in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.
The jailbreak is the first escape from the maximum security section of the facility in the 150 years of its existence
New York governor Andrew Cuomo stressed that the situation requires caution. "These are dangerous men capable of committing grave crimes again," he said.
Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information regarding the escapees.
The New York Post reported that the two men cut through the steel walls of their cell before climbing along a catwalk to reach a series of pipes and tunnels, which they again cut their way through.
A post-it Note with the words “Have a nice day” and a smiley face was left on a pipe that officials say the escapees cut open when they fled the Clinton Correctional Facility, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Canadian border.
The convicts escaped the facility either late on Friday or early Saturday, NBC News reported.
Governor Cuomo said he thinks that the breakout from the jail must have involved an organised effort. There is also concern that the convicts may have had assistance from someone outside the prison.
Police are trying to determine how the men acquired the tools needed to carry out the escape.
More than 200 officers are searching for the prisoners, using sniffer dogs and aerial surveillance.
“They may have crossed the border into Canada or headed to another state,” Governor Cuomo said.