Officials say majority were stabbed or slashed; No officers were wounded, and the names of the dead haven't been released.
The department said the riot erupted Sunday evening at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina and was brought under control at 2:55 am on Monday.
A coroner says it appears numerous seven inmates who were killed during hours of rioting at a maximum security SC prison died of stabbing and slashing wounds.
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The South Carolina Corrections Department said on Twitter that State Law Enforcement Division agents responded just before midnight on Sunday to the situation at Lee Correctional Institution. Logan said Lee Correctional Institution, like most other SC prisons, is struggling to find enough workers, but he doesn't believe anything could be done once things got that far out of control.
Twelve inmates were killed by other prisoners in SC in 2017, according to public documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Steve Bailey, who writes columns for The Post and Courier of Charleston.
Lee County Fire & Rescue says multiple agencies were called into assist with the "mass-casualty incident" at the prison.
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In 1993, nine inmates and a corrections officer were killed in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Lucasville, Ohio. The local coroner's office also responded.
Two officers were stabbed in a 2015 fight, and one inmate killed another in February this year.
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