British riot police on Friday regained control of a prison after more than 300 inmates took part in a “serious disturbance” that led to a partial lockdown.
A specialist “Tornado Team”, which handles prison riots, was sent in to deal with the incident at the privately run prison in Birmingham, central England.
The team were sent in at 8.35 pm local time, and the four wings affected were brought under control shortly after 10.00 pm, according to a Ministry of Justice statement.
All prison staff were accounted for, with no reported injuries, while one prisoner required hospital treatment.
“This was a serious situation and a thorough investigation will now be carried out,” said Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss.
Security firm G4S, which runs the facility, earlier said a “disturbance” had spread from two prison wings to four during the day.
“Our teams withdrew following a disturbance and sealed two wings, which include some administrative offices,” said G4S managing director Jerry Petherick.
A security source confirmed to AFP that riot teams had placed the affected areas in lockdown after inmates overran parts of the prison.
Local media reported that trouble flared when a security guard was threatened with a syringe by one inmate while another took his keys.
The prison can hold 1,450 inmates and is where suspected serial killer Fred West committed suicide while awaiting trial in 1995.
The latest disturbance is the third in English prisons in less than two months.
In November around 200 prisoners went on the rampage at a jail in Bedford, central England, while the previous month a jail in Lewes, southeastern England, was the scene of a six-hour standoff between inmates and riot officers.
Britain’s largest prisons union, the Prison Officers Association (POA), said the latest incident was a “stark warning to the Ministry of Justice that the prison service is in crisis”.
Prison staff took industrial action last month over what union leaders described as the “volatile and dangerous state of prisons”, reporting an increase in violence, self harm and deaths in custody.