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US jail riot: 7 inmates dead, 17 injured at South Carolina prison; updates

South Carolina jail riot was one of the deadliest US prison incidents in years

Agencies  |  Columbia 

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Seven inmates have been killed and at least 17 seriously injured amid fighting between prisoners inside a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Prisons spokesman Jeff Taillon announced the grim outcome after State Law Enforcement Division agents helped secure Lee Correctional Institution around 3 AM today.

Taillon said no officers were wounded after multiple inmate fights broke out at 7:15 PM Sunday. He said 17 of the injured required medical attention outside the prison. It was one of the deadliest U.S. prison incidents in years.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections tweeted that it involved multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations in three housing units. According to the local newspaper the State, the victims were deemed a “nuisance” to the two other prisoners who murdered them.

Lee County Fire/Rescue said ambulances from multiple jurisdictions lined up outside to tend to the wounded. The local coroner's office also responded.

No prison officers were wounded, it added. The Department described the fights as "multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations."

Lee Correctional Institution, which opened in 1993, houses about 1,500 male inmates -- some of South Carolina's most violent and longest-serving offenders.

The maximum-security facility in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates, some of South Carolina's most violent and longest-serving offenders. In February, one inmate killed another.

State data show there were 37 serious inmate assaults on prison employees last year, up from 21 in 2015. Two officers were stabbed in a 2015 fight. In 1993, nine inmates and one corrections officer died at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, according to local media.

Lee has the most number of deaths than any in recent years. In 2017, four inmates were killed by a pair of prisoners in the state's Kirkland Correctional Institution.

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 23:21 IST