ATHENS: Police searching for two convicts who fled a high-security prison by helicopter scoured mountain hideouts, while four prison guards and a pilot appeared in court on Wednesday for failing to stop the escape.

There has been no trace of bank robber Vassilis Paleokostas and convicted murderer Alket Rizaj since Sunday’s spectacular prison break — their second helicopter escape from Korydallos prison in less than three years.

Authorities were searching mountain hideouts in central and southern Greece believed to have been used by Paleokostas in the past, and also were searching for the man and woman who hijacked the chartered helicopter.

The escape, in which the helicopter swooped down onto Korydallos prison and whisked the two men away, despite gunfire from guards, was deeply embarrassing for the government.

It rushed to announce an overhaul of the prison system and a series of measures designed to prevent future escapes.

Eight prison guards have been suspended over the prison break. — AP