ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — At least six people were injured during an attempted prison break at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution Thursday afternoon, officials confirm.
Officials with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said in a tweet there was an attempted escape, fires set at the prison and several employees injured.
The prison has been placed on lockdown, and the fires have since been extinguished, officials say.
A spokesperson with Sentara Healthcare says six patients have been received at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City due to the incident. Family of patients are being asked to avoid the Albemarle campus at this time.
Three nearby schools were placed on lockdown — Northside Elementary School, Elizabeth City Middle School and Pasquotank County High School. The lockdowns have since been lifted.
All afternoon activities at the schools have been cancelled.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools sent out the following message Thursday afternoon:
Due to an incident that is taking place at the local jail north of town, Northside Elementary, Elizabeth City Middle School and Pasquotank County High School have been placed on lock down at the advice of Emergency Management.
Students who are bus riders who have not arrived home as of yet, will be returned to the school until we hear further from Emergency Management. Students and staff currently at these schools will not be released until we hear further from Emergency Management.
A follow up notification will be issued to update parents as to the lock down situation at our schools.
The school system said on Facebook — at the time of the lockdowns — that students on buses who had not made it home were taken back to the schools because of the potential for inmates being in the area.
The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office says they were called to the prison was just after 3 p.m. Elizabeth City fire crews and EMS responded to the prison, along with local police officers and sheriff’s office deputies.
WAVY’s Joe Fisher and Matt Gregory will have updates from Elizabeth City.