A Prison Service source suggested the prison van ambush would probably involve one of the escapees having access to a smuggled mobile phone.
A phone call could then be made or a text sent to let the armed gang know which prison van they were in and so which vehicle to target, among the number of vans making their way from jail to Manchester Crown Court.
More top news
More deprived areas of England have received the biggest cuts over the last five years, according to an influential think-tank.
A suspected burglar and domestic abuser who goaded police on their own Facebook page has been taunted back after handing himself in.
Motorists are to be allowed 10 minutes' grace after a parking ticket runs out before they can receive a fine, under new rules.