Hostage Situation at Texas Prison

Federal inmates released one of two hostages they took during a riot Friday at a privately run prison in West Texas.

Authorities have not released the names of the two prison employees, who are recreation specialists at the Reeves County Detention Center.

The inmates, which include immigration detainees, were asking for better medical treatment, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper John Barton told the Pecos Enterprise Friday night.

Officials say the riot started after noon, when the body of an inmate who died of natural causes was removed from the prison, Barton said.

More than a thousand prisoners were milling about in the yard and smoke from a fire set during the disturbance still flowed from the recreation building, the newspaper reported.

A hostage negotiator was talking to the inmates, Reeves County Sheriff's spokesman Michael Estorga said in the online edition of the Odessa American.

Fire crews and additional law enforcement were called to the sprawling prison complex after a fire broke out in one building. The reports that Reeves County emergency officials were called Friday afternoon to the prison, which is run by The GEO Group for the county.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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