By Michael Field in Paris
A helicopter piloted by a woman carried to freedom a gangster who
was serving 18 years for robbery and murder from the Sante Prison in
the centre of Paris yesterday. A second prisoner was part of the escape
plan, but he changed his mind at the last minute.

(Archive News)

Michel Vaujour, 34, who his lawyer describes as a dangerous criminal of above average intelligence, was waiting on the roof when a white helicopter flew in and took him away. It was the fourth and most
exciting escape in Vaujour’s career.
The helicopter took off from the suburb of St. Cyr and flew in without paying attention to radio warnings from the police that it was breaking the ban on low flying over Paris.
Two people were on board: a woman with dark brown hair dressed in black and a man with a sub-machine gun.
An hour after the breathtaking escape, the prison governor told reporters, “The helicopter dropped a rope ladder to help Vaujour climb aboard while the man with the sub-machine gun told prison guards not
to move. The whole operation took only about two minutes. Fortunately, no shots were fired and nobody was injured.”

The helicopter landed soon after at a nearby football field. Some children playing there saw two men and a woman run off towards a ring road.

Claude Roumet, head of Air Continent which owned the helicopter, said, “A pretty woman about 28 years old, who gave her name as Lena Rigon, rented the helicopter. She is a regular customer and has been  flying my aircraft for five or six months. I was really surprised when I heard that she did this incredible thing.”

Five years ago, another helicopter escape took place in Paris. Two prisoners escaped from the Fleury-Merogis prison south of Paris, but they could not go very far because the, police quickly recaptured them.



Mark the best choice.
1. Line 6, a ‘criminal’ is a person who .
a) pilots a helicopter dangerously
b) is a kind of prison guard
c) has done something against the law
d) is very intelligent

2. Line 29, ‘the police … recaptured them’ means that
the police .
a) searched for them
b) ran away
c) caught them .again
d) punished them
3. The second prisoner .
a) did not escape with Vaujour
b) was the person who planned this unusual escape
.• c) took the helicopter to St. Cyr
d) sent radio warnings to the police
4. Vaujour’s lawyer .
a) believes that Vaujour is more intelligent than most people
b) was waiting with him on the roof of the prison
c) is a 34 year-old man who thinks prisons should have better security
d) was at the football field when the helicopter landed there
5. During the escape, .
a) Vaujour was extremely excited since this was his first escape
b) the prison guards and prisoners were not hurt
c) the prison guards with sub-machine guns fired at the helicopter
d) the prison governor was telling the newspaper reporters about the
helicopter on the roof
6. Which of the following is true?
a) Because the escape took a long time, the prison officials had time to call
the local police for help.
b) Lena Rigon bought the helicopter from Air Continent about six months
c) The escape was in all the newspapers because this was the first time that
prisoners used a helicopter to escape.
d) Claude Roumet had no idea that Lena Rigon was planning to help a
prisoner escape.
7. Which of the following is not true?
a) The police warn people who fly low over Paris.
b) The escape took place in the Sante Prison outside Paris.
c) The helicopter, with the three people in it, landed somewhere not far from
the prison.
d) The pilot of the helicopter was young and attractive

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