Hamilton Police have released images of two suspects who helped an inmate pull off a daring escape from a hospital there as they continue an intensive search for the three.

Security camera images released Wednesday show a man in a dark-blue, hooded jacket and wearing a surgical mask entering Hamilton General Hospital. He may appeared to be making a gesture with his left hand. He had a bag over his right shoulder.

A second man also wore a dark-blue hooded jacket with some writing on the chest and a surgical makes is also shown. His hands were up in his sleeves, and he wasn't carrying a bag.

Police also released an image of someone they describe as a person of interest. The image was captured by a security camera at the Hamilton Detention Centre prior to the escape. On Thursday, they announced the person had been cleared.

Fawad Ahmed Nouri, 25, was in police custody at the hospital to be treated for a bullet wound that he suffered during an armed robbery at a Tim Horton's earlier this year.

The man was on his way back to the Hamilton/Wentworth Detention Centre Tuesday morning where he has been awaiting trial on numerous charges, including armed robbery and forcible confinement.

He left the hospital at 11:23 a.m. accompanied by two unarmed prison guards. But just as they were approaching their vehicle in the parking lot, two armed men wearing hospital surgical masks rushed them.

The guards were forced to the ground by the gun-toting suspects, who then escaped the scene with the prisoner using the Ministry of Corrections van.

The van was found about six blocks east of the hospital a short time later, Kovach confirmed. He said witnesses saw the suspects and the prisoner - who was wearing an orange jail-issued jumpsuit and was shackled at the time - then jump into a silver Hyundai Tiburon and drive eastbound on Birge Street.

Witnesses say the car was parked on a residential street about 90 minutes before the escape.

Police say they don't know how the suspects could have known the prisoner was going to be in hospital. Authorities say Nouri was at the hospital for a follow-up appointment and would not have known ahead of time when he was scheduled for treatment.

"This is not a coincidence that these two individuals were there at the same time Mr. Nouri was," Sgt. Terri-Lynn Collings of Hamilton Police told CTV Toronto. "We have to find out who Mr. Nouri was talking to."

Toronto police told CTV News they continue to assist in the search but so far, haven't received any tips on the suspects' whereabouts.

Nouri, a Middle-Eastern man, is described as being 6'1", about 163 lbs. with an olive complexion.

Investigators have a vague description of the alleged accomplices but believe they are also of Middle Eastern background. Both men wore surgical masks and were carrying black handguns.

Police are warning the public to call 911 but not to approach the men as they are considered armed and dangerous.

Meanwhile, Rick Bartolucci, the minister of community safety and correctional services, told reporters Wednesday he's not in favour of arming jail guards.

"They are in very, very close proximity to prisoners," he said. "They bring about a whole set of circumstances that may have to be dealt with."

With a report from CTV Toronto's John Musselman