At least 10 people – including a number of prison employees – were injured Thursday during an attempted escape at Pasquotank Correctional Institution.
The attempted breakout from the prison in Elizabeth City involved fires set in the prison’s sewing plant at about 3:30 p.m., the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said.
Ten patients are being treated by hospitals in Elizabeth City and Norfolk, Virginia, according to a news release issued just after 8 p.m. by Sentara Healthcare.
Over emergency radio, first responders could be heard describing the scene:
“Be advised, we do have a mass casualty incident. I have multiple patients,” said one. “Some of them are critical … There are probably no more than two critical. But I have many, many patients.”
Another responder described the condition of an officer who was “struck multiple times with a hammer.”
The news release issued by Sentara Healthcare said that no information on the conditions of patients would be released until Friday.
Members of the Prison Emergency Response Team, consisting of officers from other N.C. prisons, have responded to Pasquotank to assist, DPS officials said Thursday evening.
Elizabeth City is in Eastern North Carolina, about 50 miles south of Norfolk, Va., and near North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The prison now houses about 730 adult, male felons in both high-security and minimum-custody buildings. Minimum-security prisoners work outside the walls on road gangs for the county recycling department and performing other community labor.
At Bertie Correctional Institution, about 60 miles to the southeast of Pasquotank, prison Sgt. Meggan Callahan was killed in April. Authorities say an inmate there set a fire in a trash can, then beat Callahan with the fire extinguisher that she had brought to douse the flames.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
The Associated Press contributed.