7 inmates killed in fights at maximum security S.C. prison

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina prisons officials say seven inmates are dead and 17 others required outside medical attention after hours of fighting inside a maximum security prison. 

Prisons spokesman Jeff Taillon announced the grim outcome after State Law Enforcement Division agents helped secure Lee Correctional Institution around 3 a.m. Monday.

Taillon said multiple inmate fights broke out at 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

The department tweeted about them:

SC Dept. Corrections@SCDCNews

Lee Correctional Institution was secured at 2:55 AM following an incident which started at 7:15 PM. The incident involved multiple inmate on inmate altercations in three housing units.

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Taillon said no officers were wounded. 

Lee County Fire/Rescue said ambulances from at least seven jurisdictions lined up outside the prison to tend to the wounded. The local coroner's office also responded. 

The maximum-security facility in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates, some of South Carolina's most violent and longest-serving offenders. Two officers were stabbed in a 2015 fight. One inmate killed another in February. 

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