Roof collapse at Texas prison injures 19 inmates

Roof collapses at Texas prison; 19 inmates injured, one seriously

A roof collapse at a privately run Texas prison complex left 19 inmates injured Saturday, police officials said.

The collapse occurred in the "inner portion" of the Diboll Correctional Center around 11:30 a.m., Diboll Police Sgt. Brandan Lovell told the Los Angeles Times. 

Police officers, S.W.A.T. team members and firefighters were able to quickly rescue the prisoners from the debris while ensuring no one escaped, Lovell said. All 19 victims were taken to a hospital in nearby Lufkin, and one inmate was an airlifted to another medical facility with serious injuries, Lovell said.

Jason Clark, a spokesman for the state Department of Criminal Justice, told The Times that the collapse affected a “housing area” inside of the prison.

Eighty-five inmates were being transferred to a separate facility in Huntsville as a result of the collapse, according to Clark, who said most of the injured prisoners had been returned to the facility as of Saturday afternoon.

One prisoner was hospitalized overnight “for observation,” Clark said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse. Lovell did not know if the inmates were in their cells at the time of the incident.

The facility is a privately run prison overseen by the Department of Criminal Justice, according to the prison's website.

It has a maximum occupancy of 518 and was built in June 1995, according to the website.

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