WALNUT GROVE -- Nine inmates suffered cuts and stab wounds during a fight at a privately run prison in central Mississippi, which was on lockdown Friday, officials said.
A fight broke out about 10 p.m. Thursday among a group of inmates in one of the six housing units, said spokesman Issa Arnita of Management and Training Corp., which runs the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility through a state contract.
"Officers attempted to stop the disturbance, but it quickly escalated," he said. "The facility's emergency response team was activated. The team used chemical agents to gain control of the inmates. The incident lasted one hour. The local police and sheriff's departments were on site as a backup."
"We're trying to determine how many offenders were actually involved the incident. The unit where the disturbance took place houses 240 inmates," he said.
Nine inmates were injured. Arnita said seven were taken by ambulance to the local hospital. Three were then airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. One inmate has since been returned to the prison.
"We don't have details on their conditions, and no names are being released at this time. No correctional officers were injured," he said.
The prison, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and local authorities are investigating the fight.