POWHATAN, Va. (AP) _ An argument in a prison cafeteria led to a riot that spread through two cellbocks and left eight guards hospitalized, authorities said.

Sunday evening's disturbance at the maximum security Powhatan Correctional Center, about 25 miles west of Richmond, was declared under control within three hours.

The injured included one officer who was stabbed in the back and one with a broken nose, said Wickliffe S. Lyne, administrator of Johnston-Willis Hospital, where several injured guards were taken.

An assistant warden who tried to talk to inmates during the fight was beaten up but did not require treatment, said prison spokesman Wayne J. Farrar.

Three prisoners who allegedly took part in the riot were placed in solitary confinement.

No inmates were injured, officials said.

Officials said about 100 prisoners were in the cafeteria where the disturbance started and spread to two nearby cellblocks that house from 200 to 300 inmates. There are about 600 inmates at the prison.