Eight youths remained at large yesterday after a group of 11 overpowered guards at the Cedar Knoll juvenile detention center Saturday night and escaped from the D.C. facility near Laurel.

The incident brought to 48 the number of reported escapes from the center since March. In 1988 and 1989, 128 youths broke out of the facility, which is an annex to the Oak Hill youth detention center on 20 acres west of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

In June, 17 juveniles, including two held on murder charges, escaped from Oak Hill by cutting through a fence. The Cedar Knoll facility, opened in 1954, has never had a fence.

Maryland State Police spokesman Charles Jackson said the eight youths still at large are not believed to be carrying weapons, but "we still consider them possibly dangerous."

One of the 11, identified only as a 17-year-old, was apprehended about six hours after the 9:15 p.m. escape near the Route 32-Baltimore-Washington Parkway interchange, Jackson said. Two other escapees, identified only as a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, were taken into custody about 8:25 a.m. in the Dorsey area of Howard County.

Cedar Knolls officials reached yesterday declined to comment on the escape or to identify the charges on which the escapees had been held.

A Dorsey resident said the two youths were caught there shortly after they tried to take a couple of shirts off a clothesline in the neighborhood. The youths were all wearing detention center garb when they escaped, police said.

Jackson said a state trooper spotted about seven youths walking along Dorsey Road about 8 a.m., called for assistance and chased them.

After two were caught, about 30 state troopers joined by Howard and Anne Arundel police descended on the neighborhood to search for the others in a wooded area. The police search was aided by bloodhounds and K-9 units on the ground and helicopters overhead, Jackson said.

Police said they believe the remaining escapees may have fled in a different direction from those spotted in Howard County.