7 inmates dead, 17 injured in SC prison fighting

LEE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONAuthorities are dealing with an incident in a prison in South Carolina

LEE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONAuthorities are dealing with an incident in a prison in South Carolina

A sequence of fights that raged for more than seven hours at a SC prison left seven inmates dead and 17 more needing "outside medical attention", the S.C. Department of Corrections said early Monday.

Camera IconAmbulances outside Lee Correctional Institution in SC, where eight hours of fighting left seven inmates dead and 17 injured.Picture: Supplied, Lee County Fire Dept.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections tweeted that the deaths happened as in multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations in three housing units. EMS crews from Florence County, Kershaw County, Lexington County and Hartsville also responded. No officers were wounded, he said.

The coroner said when he arrived it was a chaotic scene of fighting everywhere.

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Local fire and rescue officials said that they were responding to a "mass casualty incident" Monday morning at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, which serves as a state prison for men.

The maximum-security lockup in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates, some of South Carolina's most violent and longest-serving offenders. Razor wire protects a perimeter of the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., in this February 9, 2016.

In 2015, two officers were stabbed in a fight. There were more than 20,400 inmates held in SC facilities past year, down from a peak of 24,040 inmates held in 2010, state records show.

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