7 killed, 17 injured in South Carolina prison riot

7 killed, 17 injured in South Carolina prison riot

Lee Correctional Institution is a "Level III" maximum security facility built in 1993 to house violent offenders and prisoners with behavioral problems.

Fighting at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville began around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday evening, according to USA Today.

'Lee Correctional Institution was secured at 2:55 AM following an incident which started at 7:15 PM.

The injured inmates required medical attention outside the prison, which made it more hard for authorities to restore order, Stirling said.

An inmate who spoke with the Associated Press said that bodies were "literally stacked on top of each other" hours after the violence, and that corrections officers and medical workers were not around.

Governor Henry McMaster gave an update on the riot and investigation Monday afternoon from the South Carolina Department of Corrections headquarters in Columbia. He said it appeared most of the deaths were a result of stabbing or slashing.

Two officers were stabbed in a fight in 2015, and one inmate killed another in February.

Mr Stirling said the response teams entered as quickly as they could.

Authorities confirmed that 7 inmates were killed in the riot, making it one of the deadliest incidents at a US prison in recent years.

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On Monday, Lee County Fire and Rescue said it assisted with the "mass casualty incident" at the prison.

No officers or staff members were harmed, the corrections department added.

"In prison, it's not like you have guns, or people are going to get run over", Longan said in a phone interview.

"It's an incredibly bad day in SC", said Sen.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said cellphones helped stir up trouble Sunday night at the Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville. "We failed. That's it".

"It's not a surprise when we have violent events take place inside prison, any prison in the country", said Gov. McMaster. The state capital is home to the Kirkland Correctional Institution, where four inmates were fatally strangled a year ago.

Representative Todd Rutherford, the leader of the Democratic minority in the state House of Representatives, condemned the violence.

"The folks who are incarcerated are gonna continue their criminal ways behind bars, which is not only risky inside our institutions, but it's also unsafe outside our institutions", Stirling said.

And last July, inmate Christian D. Ray died from injuries suffered during a fight.