2 injured, 2 fires set during 4-hour ‘disturbance’ at NC prison

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Numerous agencies responded to an incident Sunday at the Neuse Correctional Institute in Goldsboro.

Two people — an inmate and prison staff member — were hurt during what officials are calling a “disturbance” that broke out around 4:30 p.m. at the minimum security prison.

During the more than 4-hour incident, at least two fires were started by inmates at the prison which houses 788 prisoners, Pamela Walker, communications director for the N.C. Department of Public Safety, told CBS North Carolina.

According to Walker, the fires were started inside the prison’s diagnostic building and a storage shed that held supplies. The shed was destroyed. Inmates also broke windows and damaged four dorms.

Photos from the News-Argus in Goldsboro showed fire and smoke at the prison, which the newspaper reported was on lockdown.

“We actually called it a disturbance, I wouldn’t call it a riot,” Walker said.

Officials later said that they did not call the incident a riot because inmates did not have complete control of the prison.

The Twitter account for the photographers for the newspaper reported that “Whistles, shouts can be heard from the compound as police and sheriffs deputies continue to pour in.”

An N.C. prison staff member is being treated for minor injures after being hurt while responding to the disturbance, Walker said.

One inmate was assaulted by another inmate and has already been treated at a nearby hospital and released, according to Walker.

By around 9 p.m., all inmates were back in locked areas and the scene was under control, Walker said.

“The facility will remain on lockdown until further notice,” Walker said in an email.

Due to damage inside some of the sections at the facility, approximately 500 inmates were transferred to other prisons. Around 288 remain at Neuse Correctional.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, the N.C. Department of Public Safety’s Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT), Goldsboro police, N.C. Highway Patrol, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, probation officers, and several fire departments responded to the scene.

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