LUFKIN, Texas — Nineteen people were injured when a roof of a private prison collapsed Saturday near Lufkin, Texas, fire officials said.
Ten people were taken to hospitals by ambulance, and nine were transported as “walking wounded” from the the Diboll Correctional Center to area hospitals, Lufkin Fire Department Battalion Chief Jesse Moody told CNN.
“We are using rapid transport protocol and tagging people according to the severity of their injuries,” Moody said.
Moody wasn’t sure what may have caused the collapse, or whether it’s related to heavy rainfall in Texas recently.
“It’s not raining at all today here. We got a lot of rain yesterday. It’s a new building, a new facility. I don’t know why the roof would collapse.”
David Driskell, the prison’s warden, said, “It probably had a lot to do with the rain over the last couple days.”
The Diboll Correctional Center has a maximum capacity of 518 inmates, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website.
The prison is operated by Management & Training Corp. (MTC), according to the corrections department website.
MTC, a private contractor based in Centerville, Utah, manages 22 prisons in eight states, according to the company website, and also operates 21 Job Corps programs for the U.S. Department of Labor.