A maximum-security prison in Seward remains on lockdown, after dozens of inmates were involved in a riot there on Wednesday.

Megan Edge, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections, said the Spring Creek Correctional Center incident involved a total of 43 inmates. It began at about 1:10 p.m., when correctional officers “witnessed inmates in the yard becoming combative toward each other.”

“The cause of the riot has not yet been determined, although our initial investigation indicates the event was gang-related,” Edge wrote in a statement. “Officers began immediate protocol to gain control of the situation by ordering inmates to lay on the ground and administering oleoresin capsicum, commonly known as OC spray.”

Details on which gangs were involved in the riot and what weapons were used by the inmates, if any, were still under investigation Thursday. None of the inmates involved are yet being identified by DOC.

“They were fighting each other; they were not aggressive toward the correctional officers,” Edge said.

The riot was put down in about two and a half minutes, according to Edge. No prison staff were injured, but five inmates were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and returned to the prison.

Most of the inmates laid down when Spring Creek staff intervened in the riot.

“With 43 inmates involved, it tells us they did respond to the correctional officers quickly,” Edge said. “There were a couple of inmates who did not respond to that, and that’s when they used the OC spray.”

A number of inmates have been held in segregated custody since the riot, according to Edge, including some being protected as they are questioned by authorities.

There wasn’t any word Thursday on when the lockdown at Spring Creek, implemented to "ensure the safety of the Seward community, Spring Creek staff, and of the inmates" according to the statement, might end.

“Obviously, we don’t want there to be another riot that follows this,” Edge said.

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