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Guards, counselor held hostage in Delaware prison; injuries reported


SMYRNA, Delaware --

Four prison guards and a counselor are being held hostage at the James T. Vaughn state correctional facility in Smyrna, Delaware, according to our sister station WPVI. Injuries have been reported, sources say, but the number and severity were not known. It is also not known if the hostages were among the injured. We've learned the details of at least one injury, in which a 35-year-old guard was struck numerous times with fists and a mop wringer. He was taken to the hospital and was said to be awake and alert.This incident also involved, at one point, a blanket being set on fire in a closet. The hostage situation is unfolding in Building C of the complex, which houses between 120-150 inmates. It is also where maximum security inmates transition to medium security. Officials say there is no threat to the public.All of Delaware's state prisons have been placed on lockdown. That includes the Howard Young Correctional Facility in Wilmington, the Baylor Women's Facility in New Castle, and the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown. Authorities were called to the complex on Paddock Road just before 11 a.m. Wednesday. The original call was for a smoke condition in the building. A number of police officers were seen assembling outside the facility, along with fire trucks and ambulances. According to the department's website, the prison is Delaware's largest correctional facility for men, housing about 2,500 inmates. It houses minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates, and also houses Kent County detainees awaiting trial. It is also the site of the state's death row and where executions were carried out. The prison opened in 1971. This isn't the first hostage situation at the prison. In 2004, an inmate raped a counselor and took her hostage for nearly seven hours at the Smyrna prison, according to an Associated Press report at the time. A department sharpshooter later shot and killed 45-year-old Scott Miller, according to the report, ending the standoff.

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