Nine people in North Carolina were transported to local hospitals following an attempted prison break, officials said, and five more were expected to be taken for treatment.
The incident occurred Thursday afternoon at the Pasquotank Correctional Institute in Elizabeth City, a dispatcher at the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News.
Around 3:30 p.m., an inmate set a fire in the sewing plant, which injured several employees, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Attempted escape at Pasquotank CI in Elizabeth City. Fires set in prison sewing plant. Several employees injured. More info when available.
— NC Public Safety (@NCPublicSafety) October 12, 2017
The prison currently houses 729 inmates, according to the department of public safety. Correction Enterprises, which works within the safety department, operates a sewing plant on site.
Two of the nine patients sent to the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center were transferred to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, said Sentara Healthcare Senior Brand Engagement Advisor Peter J. Sengenberger in a statement. The Sentara Albemarle Medical Center was expecting an additional five patients as well, Sengenberger said.
The health care system asked the families of patients to avoid both hospitals.
Three local public schools were placed on lockdown following the incident. Students on school buses who had not already arrived home were brought back to the schools due to the potential of inmates being in the area, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools said on Facebook. The lockdown has since been lifted.
The situation is under control, the department of public safety said. Further details were not immediately available.
ABC News’ Rachel Katz contributed to this report.