Attempted escape reported at N.C. prison; several employees injured

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — An attempted escape was reported Thursday afternoon at a northeastern North Carolina state prison.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety tweeted around 4 p.m. that the attempted escape happened at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City. Fires were set in the prison sewing plant and several employees were injured, according to the tweet.

The prison houses just under 900 men, according to its website.

The Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office said they received a call reporting a possible escape of prisoners. Deputies were responding to the scene but the office couldn’t immediately release further information.

Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools told CBS affiliate WTKR an elementary, middle and high school were on lockdown after an incident at a nearby jail.

Correction Enterprises, an arm of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, operates 32 businesses across the state that employs 2,300 inmate workers, according to the group’s website. The group operates a sewing plant at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution that employs 30 inmate workers, the website says.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the inmates involved were employed by the plant. Calls to Correction Enterprises and the Department of Public Safety Thursday weren’t immediately returned.

This is a developing story.

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