Incident resolved after inmates refuse to return to cells, one inmate assaulted

(NTV News)

Inmates at a Nebraska prison are back under control after a computerize system accidentally opened some cell doors on Friday.

According to the Nebraska Department of Corrections, the cell doors on a 16-cell single-person restrictive housing gallery at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution were opened in error just before 10 a.m. The doors are operated by a computerized system. The cause of the error is under investigation.

The inmates were in their cells and were directed to remain in inside. The inmates came out into the gallery and refused to return to their cells. No staff members were on the gallery at the time the doors opened.

One inmate was assaulted by one or more of the others and received serious injuries. The injured inmate was removed from the gallery and received medical treatment. Another inmate sustained non-serious injuries, the cause of which has not been determined.

Staff members utilized chemical agents to clear the gallery and return the inmates to their cells. The inmates refused and continued to resist, starting a fire in a cell. The Tecumseh Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire, which was contained to one cell. The State Fire Marshal was notified.

The corrections emergency response team was activated and prepared to enter the gallery; however, the incident resolved with the inmates complying with staff directives. No staff members were injured. One staff member sought medical attention for possible smoke exposure.

All inmates on the affected gallery have been accounted for. The remainder of the facility was not involved, but is currently in modified operations. The facility will return to normal operations as soon as possible. Visits scheduled at noon and 3 p.m. have been cancelled. The facility hopes to allow evening visits; visitors are encouraged to call before driving to the facility.

The Nebraska State Patrol is onsite and will investigate the incident and assaults.

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