(ANSA) - Rome, February 15 - Police are searching on Monday for two inmates who staged an old-fashioned jailbreak from Rome's Rebibbia prison on Sunday.
The prisoners sawed the window bars of the warehouse where they were permitted to work and then descended the outer wall of the jail by using tied-together sheets, ANSA sources said.
Police are searching train and bus stations Monday after spending Sunday night questioning the inmates' relatives and searching their homes.
The escapees are Romanian former cellmates Catalin Ciobanu, 33, convicted of murder; and Mihai Florin Diaconescu, 28, convicted of burglary.
Prison guards' union Sappe said at the time of the escape from the new annex of the prison at around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, there were only two guards on duty for 150 inmates and the alarm system wasn't working.
The inmates climbed over the external wall of the prison and escaped on foot on the adjacent main thoroughfare, Via Tiburtina, ANSA sources said.
Italy's prison system is secure, despite the escape on Sunday of two inmates from Rome's Rebibbia jail, said Santi Conosolo, head of the prisons administration, on Monday.
"An excess of alarm for the escape of two inmates mustn't create fear in the collective; our institutions are secure," Consolo said.
"I realize that there's the need for resources and personnel and that modern alarm systems must be strengthened to avoid escapes," he said.
Consolo said a preliminary report showed there were nine guards on duty for 300 inmates in the building where the escape took place. He said the department is investigating why the alarms didn't go off.