Mysterious men in air escape bid

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BRITISH POLICE arrived in France last night to track two men claiming to be escaped prisoners, who stole a light aircraft, flew across the Channel and landed on a beach near the French port of Calais.

The pursuit of the men began shortly after 11am when an aircraft landed near Calais. The four-seater Cessna 172 had been stolen at 6.30am from Fowlmere Airfield, near Royston, Cambridgeshire.

The French authorities maintained last night that they had apprehended at least one escaped prisoner, but the Prison Service in Britain said none of its inmates was missing. The detained man apparently told French police he had just escaped from prison and that his accomplice fled in a getaway car parked near Calais beach. Cambridge police were sent to question the man.