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Nevada prison inmate disturbance results in fires, injuries

December 9, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A disturbance involving more than 20 inmates resulted in fires and minor injuries Wednesday at a medium-security prison in southern Nevada, but no one was hospitalized and no significant damage resulted, a state corrections official said.

Police and firefighters were summoned about 1 p.m. from Las Vegas to Southern Desert Correctional Center near Indian Springs, but calls were canceled before responders completed the 20-minute drive, police and Clark County spokesmen said.

A group of inmates refused to enter their cells or comply with guards and two fires were extinguished before causing significant damage, state prisons spokeswoman Teri Vance said.

Vance said no one was hurt seriously enough to require transport to a hospital, and she denied initial media reports characterizing the incident as a “riot” at the much larger High Desert State Prison.

Vance said she didn’t immediately know how many people were hurt, or whether corrections officers were among them.

Abut 15 inmates were transported to high-security prisons, she said.

Southern Desert Correctional Center has about 2,100 inmates living in seven residential housing units. It opened in February 1982 off U.S. 95 northwest of Las Vegas. It is staffed by about 200 guards and another 100 program staff members.