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Home  |  News  |  Explosives used to end hostage situation at Midlands prison

Explosives used to end hostage situation at Midlands prison

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - A standoff that lasted more than seven hours is over, and the officer held hostage by inmates at Lee Correctional Institution is in the hospital recovering.

According to Corrections Department spokesman Clark Newsom, negotiations failed and force was used to blow off the door locks and go into the prison and rescue the corrections officer at around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers found the guard wearing an inmate outfit and handcuffs. The inmates had taken the guard's keys and were moving throughout the prison.

Newsom says the situation started when a nurse, escorted by the corrections officer, were passing out medication around 9:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Newsom says a group of inmates got their hands on the officer when a door that was supposed to be locked, wasn't.

The nurse escaped, but the officer was held hostage by the inmates. Prison officials say there were 116 inmates in the wing when it happened.

We're told Newsom says they haven't determined a motive and they're not sure if any one inmate was in charge of it.

The guard is expected to be okay.

Newsom said officers are not usually armed with guns, but some do carry gas canisters or batons. The spokesman also said it's not uncommon for units two have two officers on duty at night because it's usually a very quiet time in the prison.

Through the night there was some communication going on between inmates and law enforcement as an inmate with an illegal cell phone called Lee County dispatch.

Other law enforcement agencies were called to the scene to aid in securing the perimeter of the prison. Newsom says the area around the prison was safe the whole time.

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