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Riot breaks out in Ohio prison

LUCASVILLE, Ohio -- Hundreds of inmates at an Ohio maximum security prison, described as 'the states worst,' Sunday took over a cellblock and were holding an undetermined number of hostages, authorities said.

The Scioto County sheriff's office said 'a hostage situation is in progress' at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility and about 1,500 prisoners were involved at the start.

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'There are numerous injuries but no deaths reported,' dispatcher Sharon Price said.

Lucasville is a southern Ohio farming community of about 3,500 residents, located about 90 miles south of Columbus.

Scioto County sheriff's dispatcher Pat Malone said the disturbance started at about 3 p.m. in the prison cafeteria and initially spread to two cellblocks.

Malone said Warden Arthur Tate, other corrections officers and Highway Patrol members were inside the 25-year old prison.

'We were told at the start there were initially up to 1,500 men involved in two cellblocks,' Malone said.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections in Columbus verified there were hostages taken and said about 800 prisoners remained in the cellblock where the disturbance was centered.

'There are hostages, but we do not know how many and if they are guards or inmates,' Malone said. 'The situation is very tense. These are the state's worst.'

Some of the hostages were later said to be prison guards.

Malone said about 100 men had set up a perimeter around the prison including the Ohio Highway Patrol, deputies from neighboring Ross, Highland and Pike counties and different municipal police departments.

There were no reports of prisoners escaping during the melee.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections in Columbus said in a statement the disturbance began when 'a group of inmates started a fight and a group of correctional officers responded.'

'Seven correctional officers were treated at the Southern Ohio Medical Center, six were treated and released,' the statement said. 'The seventh is being treated for a broken arm.

'A prison hostage negotiation team is in contact with the prisoners, ' the statement continued. 'The disturbance is contained to the 'L' block housing area where some 800 inmates are housed. Another 1,000 inmates are secure.'

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