December 17, 2016 5:42:26 pm
Security officers restored order Saturday at a prison in the central English city of Birmingham one day after an estimated 600 inmates seized control and launched a destructive rampage.
Authorities called Friday’s 13-hour takeover of HMP Birmingham the worst prison uprising since the 1990 riot in Strangeways in Manchester, which lasted 25 days and left one prisoner dead.
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No staff members were injured during the Birmingham unrest but one prisoner remained hospitalized Saturday with a suspected broken jaw and eye socket.
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Trouble flared as prisoners rushed a guard and stole his keys, giving them eventual access to all four wings of the Victorian-era prison in England’s second-largest city. Inmates lit fires, set off fireworks, broke into guards’ offices to steal clubs and helmets, and smashed windows and toilet blocks.
A stream of security vans came and went Saturday from the prison. The Justice Ministry said at least 240 Birmingham inmates were being transferred to other prisons nationwide while more than 1,000 remaining would face greater restrictions on movement.
Justice Minister Liz Truss said the reasons for the security failure will be fully investigated, while those convicted of rioting will face longer sentences.
She said: “Violence in our prisons will not be tolerated and those responsible will face the full force of the law.”
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