Officers Down, Schools on Lockdown After North Carolina Prison Break

Employees injured in attempted prison break in Pasquotank Co

An attempted prison escape in Elizabeth City resulted in several injured employees, the N.C. Department of Public Safety said in a tweet Thursday.

Inmates started a fire in the prison's sewing plant and then tried to escape, the statement said. Police have not identified those killed during the attempted escape. Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden, 50, supervised inmates working in the Specialty Sewing Plant.

The prison is an all-male institution with 729 inmates.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Department, along with the State Bureau of Investigation, are investigating the incident. None of the inmates escaped. In February an inmate was caught with marijuana while in April a prisoner was stabbed multiple times - he did survive his injuries. "They sew uniforms for state prison inmates ... mostly institutional uniforms".

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Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks released a statement Thursday that said in part "Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and co-workers of the employees who lost their lives in service to the State". Several employees injured. More info when available. Officials later confirmed to local media that at least six people were sent to the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City. There was no immediate word on their conditions. Sentara asks that family of the injured avoid the campus.

In a separate statement, the Elizabeth City Pasquotank Public School District said that the three schools were put on lockdown following the advice of the Emergency Management.

Students were dismissed, but those who ride the bus were required to have a parent at home when the bus arrived.

After school events and athletics at all three schools were cancelled.

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