ELIZABETH CITY, North Carolina Oct 13 2018 — At least 10 people were hurt in an attempted prison escape from Pasquotank Correctional Institution.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety said Thursday that fires were set and several workers were reportedly injured during an escape attempt at Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City.
Despite earlier reports that at least one inmate may have escaped, DPS confirmed Thursday evening that three head counts confirmed that there are no missing inmates.
DPS said fires were set in the prison sewing plant, where approximately 30 inmates work. The incident happened about 3:30 p.m.
About 5:30 p.m., DPS said the prison is on lockdown and the fires have been extinguished.
Peter Sengenberger with Sentara Healthcare told WVEC that 10 people were taken to Sentara Albemarle Medical Center. Three of those people were transferred to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. There was no immediate word on their conditions. Sentara asked that family of the injured avoid both campuses.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools said students on buses who had not arrived home already were brought back to the schools because of the potential of inmates being in the area.
School officials also did not want to risk the possibility of students being home alone with the potential of escaped inmates in the area.
Northside Elementary, Elizabeth City Middle, and Pasquotank County High School were placed on lockdown as a precaution. The lockdown was lifted about 4:45 p.m.
As the lockdown lifted, school officials said students would be released but said a parent must be present at the home or students would be returned to the school.
Athletic and after-school events have been canceled for Thursday.
Pasquotank Correctional Institution is a high-security prison for adult male inmates. It employs about 410 people and can house nearly 900 inmates according to the prison website. DPS said there were 729 inmates incarcerated at this time.
Minimum-security prisoners work outside the walls on road gangs for the county recycling department and performing other community labor.