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Lawmakers: Mexican drug lord Guzman had at least 18-minute head start before escape alert

  • This photo shows the shower area and opening to a tunnel, where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, slipped into the tunnel to escape from his prison cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Experts have said the tunnel would have been more than a year in planning and building. The digging would have caused noise. The entrance was in a place beyond the view of security cameras at Mexico's toughest prison. They also said it was clear the escape by Mexico's most powerful drug lord must have involved inside help on a grand scale. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    This photo shows the shower area and opening to a tunnel, where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, slipped into the tunnel to escape from his prison cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Experts have said the tunnel would have been more than a year in planning and building. The digging would have caused noise. The entrance was in a place beyond the view of security cameras at Mexico's toughest prison. They also said it was clear the escape by Mexico's most powerful drug lord must have involved inside help on a grand scale. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (The Associated Press)

  • The photo shows the interior of the cell occupied by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from where authorities claim he escaped via a tunnel in his shower cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. In the top left corner is a security camera. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    The photo shows the interior of the cell occupied by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from where authorities claim he escaped via a tunnel in his shower cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. In the top left corner is a security camera. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo shows the shower area where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, slipped into a tunnel to escape from his prison cell at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    This photo shows the shower area where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, slipped into a tunnel to escape from his prison cell at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)  (The Associated Press)

Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes lapsed before anyone was alerted to the escape of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Deputy Aleida Alavez, who toured the maximum security prison west of Mexico City on Thursday, told The Associated Press that National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said Guzman had an 18-minute head start.

Officials had not said publicly how much time had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware.

An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time.

Deputy Adriana Gonzalez, who was also on the tour, said personnel monitoring the cameras told her it was about 20 minutes.