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Thursday, 3 July 2008

maximum security Edmonton prison clash between rival prison gangs during a recreation period Tuesday afternoon


23:11 |

clash between rival prison gangs during a recreation period Tuesday afternoon at the Edmonton Institution. It wasn't known Wednesday which gangs were involved.
The men were wielding homemade knives and eight of them were stabbed. One inmate was shot by a guard, said Correctional Services of Canada spokesman Rick Dhym.
"Warning shots were fired," said Mr. Dhym. "He refused to give up his weapon and stop attacking another inmate."
Ground ambulances and a helicopter were called to the prison northwest of Edmonton to transport the injured men to hospitals in the city.
About 40 inmates remained in the yard, refusing to go back to their cells. Guards had only recovered three weapons at that point and were concerned that some of the men still had knives, Mr. Dhym said.Yells could be heard from outside the gates as guards attempted to negotiate with the men.
At one point a man yelled, "Give us some f---ing water!"
The negotiations didn't work.The inmates broke into a fenced off-area where nine cords of wood, enough to fill the boxes of nine pickup trucks, were kept for an on-site ceremonial sweat lodge.By 10 p.m. local time, two fires were blazing in the yard and three fire trucks were sitting in the prison parking lot on standby.Inmates set the prison sweat lodge ablaze and guards shot six canisters of tear gas into the yard about an hour later.As flames shot further into the night sky, the firefighters could no longer attack the blaze from above with aerial hoses, fire spokeswoman Nikki Booth said.A crew of four firefighters had to go into the yard.
"They had to unroll their hoses and get escorted in" by a tactical unit, Ms. Booth said. "These are not situations that paramedics or firefighters generally face."After the tear gas ended the standoff, around 11:20 p.m. local time, prisoners were taken from the yard one at a time, strip-searched for weapons, washed down and returned to their cells, Mr. Dhym said.The maximum security prison remained under lockdown Wednesday, as police and correctional officers investigated what happened.
No prison staff members were injured during the incident.
Eight people were taken to hospitals Tuesday. Two were in critical condition. Two more people were treated at hospital Wednesday for minor injuries.It is not clear what the inmates were trying to negotiate for.Violent incidents are not uncommon in the maximum security prison, said Kevin Grabowsky, regional president for the union that represents correctional officers.
"Our gang problems are pretty serious. There's always a tension inside," he said.
In June 2007, 60 inmates refused to go back into their cells and broke into the sweat lodge area, burning the wood inside and some plastic chairs. In 2001, seven inmates were injured in a violent incident when 50 men refused to re-enter their cells.


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