Inmates Take Guards Hostage at Delaware Prison

Prison Disturbance
Photo: Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal/AP

Multiple guards were taken hostage by inmates Wednesday at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, a Correctional Officers Association of Delaware official tells PEOPLE.

According to Delaware Online, five correctional officers were taken hostage at around 10:30am Wednesday morning. One of the officers was later released with non-life-threatening injuries.

In a press release, the Department of Corrections said DOC response teams and the Delaware State Police are on the scene.

Negotiations continue, a Delaware Online reporter tweeted Wednesday evening following a press conference.

Authorities were first called to the facility for a smoke condition in the building, 6ABC reports.

All state prisons are currently on lockdown, according to Fox News, though Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said it is standard practice to lock down all state prisons during emergencies.

Gravell told Fox News the situation is an isolated incident and that there is no threat to the public.

The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is the state’s largest correctional facility for men, housing 2,500 inmates, including maximum security inmates, according to the Delaware Department of Corrections website. The prison carries out executions and houses inmates on death row.

In 2004, an inmate raped a counselor and took her hostage for close to seven hours, according to an Associated Press report at the time.

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