Inmate uprising at Texas prison damages facility, leaves it 'uninhabitable': Reports

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - Thousands of inmates at a federal prison in south Texas will be moved to other facilities after an uprising by angry prisoners left the prison damaged and "uninhabitable," according to officials quoted in local press reports.

The disturbance began early on Friday at the Willacy County Correctional Centre in Raymondville, Texas, which primarily holds individuals who have entered the United States illegally. The prison, which is run by the private company Management & Training Corp, is located about 64km from the Mexican border.

The unrest began when prisoners refused to come to breakfast or report for work in a bid to protest against problems with medical services at the facility, the Express-News newspaper and local broadcaster KGBT-TV reported.

The inmates broke out of their housing structures and converged in the recreation yard, setting fire to several Kevlar domes, or tents, that serve as prison housing, the paper said.

By Saturday evening, the disturbance was largely under control, but the prison had suffered sufficient damage that as many as 2,800 inmates will be transferred, according to a statement from United States Bureau of Prisons published by KGBT. The process of moving the inmates is expected to continue into next week, the statement said.

The facility "is now uninhabitable due to damage caused by the inmate population", the statement said.

The authorities said there had been no serious injuries.

Management & Training Corp could not immediately be reached for comment.

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