Helicopter prison escape foiled in Greece

Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England.</p>

Emergency services at the scene after a helicopter reportedly collided with a crane attached to St Georges Wharf Tower in Vauxhall, on January 16, 2013 in London, England.

An inmate at a Greek prison has made his fourth attempt to escape incarceration — this time, by helicopter.

As the helicopter swooped down over the prison courtyard Sunday, the convicts on board fired at the guards below. They then lowered a rope to help an inmate identified at Panagiotis Vlastos to escape, the Associated Press reported. But the plot was foiled after Vlastos was shot.  

Authorities identified Vlastos, a convicted murderer and racketeer serving a life term, the Belfast Telegraph reported. Authorities said three other inmates were involved in the escape plot but did not identify them.

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Prison officials told TV stations Mega and NET that they recovered over 500 bullets from the helicopter. The inmates also carried improvised bombs, but didn't use them, the Ministry of Justice said.

Vlastos, 43, has now tried and failed four times to escape prison, the AP says.