CHICAGO (AP) _ Three people, including two prison inmates, were charged Tuesday with aiding in last month's escape of two convicted killers who smashed their way out of a high-rise correctional center.

The three were accused of providing or passing hacksaw blades and drill bits to help in the May 14 escape of Bernard Welch, 45, and Hugh Colomb, 31, from the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Both men remain at large and are targets of a nationwide manhunt.

The investigation of the escape also led to misdemeanor charges filed against three other people accused of smuggling marijuana to an unidentified inmate in the federal prison.

The charges, resulting from a federal investigation of the escape and the obtaining of contraband, came in criminal informations filed by U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas. A criminal information is similar to an indictment, but there is no grand jury vote and it usually is used in plea agreements.

Welch, a master burglar from Great Falls, Va., was serving a 143-year sentence for the 1980 murder of Dr. Michael Halberstam, a Washington, D.C., cardiologist and brother of journalist David Halberstam.

Colomb, of Rutland, Vt., was serving 48 years on voluntary manslaughter, armed robbery and other charges.

A nationwide manhunt, coordinated by the U.S. Marshal's Service, is continuing. Welch is on the Marshal's Service list of 15 most wanted criminals.

Both men had been government informants providing details about prison escapes and potential harm to correctional officers, officials have said.

The two escaped from a high-security floor of the 26-story prison by pounding out a part of a prison wall with a barbell rod, smashing a 5-inch- wide window and lowering themselves six floors to the ground with a 75-foot electrical cord.

Charged with felony importation of objects used to facilitate an escape were Gene Newby, 26, an inmate at the correctional center, and DeAnna Yslava, 22, of Tucson, Ariz. Officials in the U.S. Marshal's office identified Ms. Yslava as Newby's girlfriend.

The court papers said that on May 4, Ms. Yslava sent drill bits and three days later sent hacksaw blades into the correctional center and Newby received them.

Larry Vaughn, 33, another inmate, was charged with passing a hacksaw blade to Colomb, aiding in his escape, officials said.

Also charged with misdemeanor violations for allegedly bringing marijuana to an inmate were Barbara Newby, 24, of Tucson, identified by federal authorities as Newby's sister; Adrianne Koulouris, 21, of Cicero; and Harvellen Vaughn, 40, of Chicago, identified as Vaughn's cousin.

If convicted, Gene Newby and Ms. Yslava each face five-year prison sentences and fines of $10,000.

Larry Vaughn could be sentenced to five years in prison and fined $5,000 if convicted.

It was not immediately known for what crimes the two inmates were in prison.