DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - ?
An East Texas prison is back up and running Monday after a ceiling collapsed on 85 inmates in the prison's day room.
Officials say it happened at the Diboll Correctional Center. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice- owned facility operated privately by Management and Training Corporation (MTC).
Nineteen inmates were taken to the hospital with injuries. All of them but one have been treated and released with the majority of the injuries being scrapes and bruises. Investigators and engineers from the TDCJ are at the Diboll Correctional Center looking into what cause the day room ceiling to collapse on 85 prisoners on Saturday.
Warden David Driskell said he does not want to speculate what could have caused the problem.
"I'm not the expert in that. We do have a team TDCJ officials who actually owns this building and they're evaluating it and they're here today inspecting, and hopefully, we'll come up with a plan to get it repaired," Driskell said.
Driskell said he hopes to make progress sooner rather than later because inmates have been displaced.
"Eighty-five offenders have been transferred to another facility until we can evaluate the damages and make repairs," Driskell said.
Driskell said Saturday around 11:30 a.m. the suspended ceiling in one of the housing areas at the Diboll Correctional Center collapsed on the inmates.
"After that we had 19 offenders transported to the local hospital for treatment and evaluation. One of those 19 offenders remains in the local hospital at this time," Driskell said.
Law enforcement outside the prison gates on Saturday said that receiving information and instructions from prison officials inside the gates was slow.
"We do appreciate the emergency service and the local law enforcement that came out to provide assistance. There was not at any time any security threats to the perimeter of the institution," Driskell said.
Driskell said he doesn't know how long the TDCJ investigation will take. The warden said the last inmate who is currently at a Lufkin hospital is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.