2 employees killed in foiled N. Carolina prison break

Authorities have identified two employees killed during an attempted inmate escape from a North Carolina prison.

The state Department of Public Safety says in a news release 35-year-old Justin Smith and 50-year-old Veronica Darden were killed Thursday during the attempted breakout from Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City.

Authorities say Smith was a correctional officer at the prison’s sewing plant, where Darden trained inmates. Details of their deaths weren’t released.

Prison officials say inmates started a fire at the prison sewing plant. Authorities said three other employees remained hospitalized, and four inmates were treated for injuries.

The prison houses nearly 900 adult, male felons in both high-security and minimum-custody buildings. Minimum-security prisoners work outside the walls on road gangs for the county recycling department and performing other community labor.


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