ELIZABETH CITY, NC (WSPA) – 2 prison employees were killed and several others were hurt when inmates attempted to escape the Pasquotank Correctional Institution, Thursday afternoon.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, inmates started a fire in the prison’s specialty sewing plant around 3:00pm.
Officials say around 30 inmates work there for Correction Enterprises, which produces embroidered items, safety vests, and other sewn items.
NC DPS says after the fire was set, several inmates attempted to escape but were unsuccessful.
The Department of Public Safety says all prisoners are accounted for and the facility is under control and locked down.
Members of the Prison Emergency Response Team responded to the facility to assist local prison staff.
There are 725 male inmates in minimum and medium security at Pasquotank Correctional Institution.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper released this statement Thursday night:
“Those who work in our prisons do a difficult and demanding job that is critical to our safety. We’re grateful to these fallen prison employees for their service, and we offer our condolences to their families, friends, coworkers and community on this tragic loss.”
Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks released this statement Thursday night:
The DPS family is devastated by the tragic events that took place at Pasquotank Correctional Institution. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and co-workers of the employees who lost their lives in service to the State. We will do everything we can to support their families during this difficult time. I want to thank law enforcement and emergency responders for their assistance, and we will do everything we can to assist the investigation.
The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department and the NC State Bureau of Investigation are investigating.