(Reuters) – An escape attempt at a North Carolina prison in which fires were set left several employees injured on Thursday, and the facility was placed on lockdown, officials said.
Nine people injured at Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City were transported to a local hospital, Peter Sengenberger, a spokesman for the medical facility, said in an email.
The hospital, Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, expects to receive another five patients, he said. The hospital earlier said it had received six patients.
The situation at the prison, which is located less than 50 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia, was under control, the state Department of Public Safety said on Twitter, less than two hours after sending out an alert on social media about the incident.
The fires set in the prison sewing plant. They have been extinguished, the public safety agency said.
The Department of Public Safety did not say how many employees were hurt or if any inmates were injured.
Representatives for the Department of Public Safety could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, in Elizabeth City, transferred two of the patients to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sengenberger said.
The Pasquotank Correctional Institution, a high-security prison for men, had 729 inmates on Thursday, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools ordered buses that were transporting students to return to schools, out of a concern that inmates might be free in the area, the school district said in a message on Facebook.
The district has since allowed students to go home and has lifted lockdowns at several campuses, it said.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler