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Two Inmates Killed As Prisoners Run Amok

July 13, 1994

ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ A melee in a prison recreation yard Tuesday night left two inmates dead and at least six others injured. Two of the injured were critically hurt, authorities said.

Two prison employees also suffered minor injuries but were able to continue their work, said Bill Flower, a spokesman for the medium-security Carl Robinson Correctional Institution.

About 200 inmates were in the medium-security prison’s recreation yard when the trouble began about 6:45 p.m., Flower said. The prison holds about 1,060 people.

Ambulances took six injured inmates to hospitals.

Television broadcasts showed hooded inmates armed with sticks and makeshift clubs appearing to chase down and beat one or more fellow inmates. One inmate was wielding a crutch.

Things appeared to be under control by 10 p.m., although teams of officers in riot gear remained inside the prison.

″Staff is in the process of securing everyone and calming down the facility,″ Flower said.

Because Carl Robinson is a dormitory-style prison, it is impossible to lock inmates in individual cells.

Flower said he did not know what caused the fight, but that not all of the inmates in the yard took part.

Barbara Bania, who lives near the prison, said neighbors were not notified about the disturbance for more than an hour. A $12,000 pager system is supposed to be used to tell neighbors of escapes and other trouble.

″This is a nice summer evening. The kids are out in the neighborhood and nobody knows what’s going on,″ Bania said. ″It should have been done immediately. I’m extremely upset.″

One of the dead inmates was identified as Gordon Silas, 26, who was serving 3 1/2 years on a drug conviction. The name of the other dead inmate was withhild until relatives could be notified.

Seven staff members and an inmate were injured during a melee at Carl Robinson early last year. That uprising involved about 200 inmates.

In Oglethorpe, Ga., on Tuesday, nearly 200 inmates took over two buildings at the Macon Correctional Institution. The disturbance ended more than four hours later when squads of tactical officers charged the buildings. No injuries were reported.

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