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State Prison Ceiling Falls, Injuring Inmates and Triggering UF Shands Alert

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Around 7 a.m. this morning, a section of the ceiling at the Reception and Medical Center of the Florida State Prison system in Lake Butler fell on a group of inmates.

According to the Department of Corrections, five were injured in the bathroom incident at the Lake Butler facility, located at 7765 S. CR 231. Ashley Cook, a spokeswoman for the department, said none of the injuries are life-threatening.

“In an abundance of caution, the inmates were transported to an outside medical facility to have their injuries evaluated,” Cook said by phone.

UF Health Shands said it received and is treating four patients. It is unclear where the fifth inmate is being treated, but UF Health says it does not expect any more patients. At 8:37 a.m., the hospital sent out the following alert: “Mass casualty incident, patients arriving at Shands. Respond as directed to your department. Command center open.” An hour later, it announced the end of the alert.

The last inspection on record for the Reception and Medical Center is from April 2017, but did not identify any issues with the ceiling.

Cook said prison employees are inspecting the damage and expect to begin repairs today.

About Grace King

Grace is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing grace.king@ufl.edu.

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