Two Dead After Attempted Prison Break in North Carolina

Employees injured in attempted prison break in Pasquotank Co.

The two prison employees killed in an attempted escape from Pasquotank Correctional Institution on Thursday were a corrections officer and an employee of Corrections Enterprises, the prison industry that operates a sewing plant at the prison, a N.C. Public Safety spokeswoman said.

After the fire was set, several inmates unsuccessfully attempted to escape, reports CBS affiliate WTKR.

The names of the dead employees have been released by the department, saying: "Correctional Officer Justin Smith, 35, provided security in the Correction Enterprises Specialty Sewing Plant".

"The prison is under control and locked down, with all inmates accounted for in multiple counts", the emergency management statement said.

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A spokeswoman for Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Tammy Sawyer said, "We didn't want kids home alone or in transport with the potential situation that was unfolding".

Pasquotank Correctional Institution houses 725 male inmates in close, medium and minimum security.

Walker said no inmates escaped during the incident.

The fires were set in the prison sewing plant at around 3:00 p.m. local time.

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"The DPS family is devastated by the tragic events that took place at Pasquotank Correctional Institution", Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks said. Several employees injured. More info when available.

Although the department did not give details on the injured employees and their condition, an official of a nearby medical facility, Sentara Albemarle Medical Center (SAMC), said a total of nine patients had been received at the center. Sentara asks that family of the injured avoid the campus.

According to Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools, Northside Elementary, Elizabeth City Middle School and Pasquotank County High School were placed on lockdown shortly after news of the incident broke. Buses were ordered back to their schools with any students still in transit.

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