ALBION, Pa. - The negligence of jail officials allowed a convicted murderer serving a life sentence to escape from a medium-security prison by hiding in a trash can, the head of the state prison system said yesterday.

At least six prison workers will face disciplinary action as a result of the Nov. 25 escape of Malcolm Kysor, including the superintendent, who was relieved of her duties earlier this month, said Corrections Secretary Jeffrey A. Beard.

The escape would have been prevented if employees had followed state policies and the internal procedures of the State Correctional Institution at Albion, Beard said.

"The escape should not have occurred," Beard said after releasing a 67-page report.

Kysor, who had been serving a life sentence since 1988 for an Erie County murder in the early 1980s, remained on the loose. The FBI indicated a few days after the escape that it was likely Kysor was in Indiana or Minnesota, where he has family. Beard said police do not know where he is.

Kysor escaped from a food-service area that was off-limits to prisoners sentenced to life. Two food-service workers had allowed him to enter the area, Beard said.

From that area, Kysor was able to see that a checkpoint used to dispose of trash was operating during the weekend, a violation of prison policy, Beard said. Inmate John Gromer of Philadelphia helped Kysor get in a trash can, covered him up and loaded the bin onto a pickup truck, officials said. Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk has said Gromer, 26, could be charged.

When the truck with the trash bin arrived at the port, the sergeant guarding the area did only a cursory check of the car, Beard said.

The investigation also revealed that the superintendent, Marilyn S. Brooks, had not been carrying out proper tours of the institution, Beard said.