Two prison workers killed in unsuccessful escape in N. Carolina
Elizabeth City, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina prison employees were killed and several others hurt after inmates at a sewing plant started a fire in an unsuccessful escape attempt Thursday, authorities said.
How the employees were killed at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City was not released.
At least 10 people were taken to hospitals after the fire about 3 p.m. Thursday, Sentara Albemarle Medical Center spokesman Peter Sengenberger said. He did not have a breakdown of whether they were employees or inmates.
Prison spokesman Keith Acree said several employees were hurt.
The inmates started the fire at a Correction Enterprises sewing plant inside prison walls. The plant makes safety vests and embroidered items, Acree said in a statement.
Prison workers did several counts after the fire and all 725 inmates were accounted for, Acree said.
The prison near the northeast North Carolina coast can house nearly 900 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 perform other community labor.
The public school district locked doors at three nearby schools after getting word about 3:30 p.m. of the escape attempt. The notice came as students at one of the facilities, Pasquotank High School, were just to be released for the day and after dismissal times for the elementary and middle schools, said a spokeswoman for Elizabeth CityPasquotank Public Schools.