The Lee Correctional Institution near Bishopville was under lockdown Tuesday night after a guard was taken hostage.
The incident began between 9 and 9:30 p.m. in a special management unit of the facility while a nurse was dispensing medication to inmates, Clark Newsom, a Corrections Department spokesman, said.
“For some reason, a door between the nurse and a corrections officer was opened,” Newsom said. The nurse escaped but the guard was overtaken and beaten by an undetermined number of inmates. Authorities did not know what condition the guard was in early today.
The inmates used an illegal cellphone to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. Early today, authorities were talking with the prisoners, but Newsom did not know if demands had been made.
Lee is a maximum-security facility holding some of the most dangerous prisoners in the S.C. prison system, Newsom said. While there were 138 inmates in the unit, authorities did not know how many of them were involved.