Attempted prison break in NC: Fires sparked, at least 14 hurt
An attempted prison break in North Carolina left at least 14 people injured as fires broke out inside the facility.
North Carolina Department of Public Safety tweeted Thursday afternoon that there was an “attempted escape at Pasquotank Cl in Elizabeth City. Fires set in prison sewing plant. Several employees injured.”
The department later tweeted the facility “is currently under lockdown. Fires extinguished. Situation under control.”
No inmates escaped during the incident, Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jerry Higgins told The Virginian-Pilot.
It was unclear if any prisoners actually got out. A call was made to the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office that there was a “possible escape of prisoners” at the Pasquotank Correctional Institute, WAVY-TV reported.
The high-security prison has the capacity to hold around 900 inmates, but currently has 729, according to a tweet by the Department of Public Safety. The security fence around the facility has “a built-in electronic intrusion detection system” that “alerts armed correction officers.”
Peter Sengenberg, spokesperson from the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, told The Associated Press that at least 14 people required hospital treatment.
The medical center took in nine patients following the incident at Pasquotank. Two of those patients were transferred, and another five patients were taken to a sister hospital in Norfolk, Va. The extent of the injuries wasn’t immediately clear.
Schools in the area reportedly went on lockdown, but were later lifted.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools sent a message Thursday afternoon that “due to an incident that is taking place at the local jail north of town, Northside Elementary, Elizabeth City Middle School and Pasquotank County High School have been placed on lock down at the advice of Emergency Management,” according to WAVY.
In April, one Pasquotank inmate stabbed another after a fight broke out between the two, WAVY reported.