The roof of Diboll Correctional Center, a privately owned minimum security prison in East Texas, collapsed last week, injuring 19 inmates and trapping several others.
The 19 injured inmates were sent to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation, but one was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houstan, about 100 miles southwest of the prison. The status of the airlifted inmate is unclear, but reports say that the other inmates injuries didn’t appear to be serious — just cuts and bruises — but one individual did break his hip.
According to the Associated Press, a prison spokesperson couldn’t confirm what had caused the roof and sheetrock ceiling to collapse.
“This prison roof more than likely failed due to improper maintenance of the sheetrock. As it was a privately run prison, I would guess that there were corners cut on the construction to lower operation costs” said Dymitri Orzlov, DVR Roofing
On the day of the incident, officials were sent to assess the roof’s damage and to try to figure out just what exactly had happened that would cause it to collapse. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice also sent a team out to the prison to assess the situation.
“They’re doing their assessment, we have some offenders in the gym, they’re fixing to go back to their living areas,” said Management & Training Corp. employee Ken Montgomery. “We’re probably going to be shipping some to TDCJ due to not being able to go back in there.”
People in the area were not pleased about the incident. Neighbor Desmond Mitchell said that, “I feel bad because they are human beings. No matter what situation you are in, … you’re still a human being.”
Neighbor Anibol Jasso Jr. said that “If they are going to have people inside the jail, they should have someone come and inspect the whole thing.”