SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Six inmates were taken to outside hospitals after a riot at a maximum-security prison in California on Friday, including two inmates who were being treated for serious injuries, prison officials said.
The fight among about 150 inmates at an outdoor recreation yard was broken up after guards fired a warning shot and used pepper spray at California State Prison, Sacramento, about 20 miles east of the state capital.
One inmate underwent surgery for multiple stab wounds, while a second was in "stable" condition for a broken left hand and broken eye socket, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Peggy Bengs said. The inmate with the broken bones also was repeatedly stabbed, she said.
Two more inmates were released back to prison after they were treated, while two others were being treated for relatively minor injuries, she said.
Officials initially said that seven inmates were taken to outside hospitals, but later reduced the number to six.
Sgt. Tony Quinn, a spokesman for the prison, said "dozens" of other inmates suffered less serious injuries and were treated at the prison.
"It was a one-on-one isolated incident between two guys," Quinn said. "Then, for whatever reason, it started in another area and another area and another area....From the ground level, it looked like everybody" was involved.
The fight spread from the main yard into a smaller, separate but adjacent yard, he said. However, he said investigators did not initially believe the fights were coordinated.
Investigators recovered seven weapons, including six inmate-made knives and a broken walking cane.
No guards or other staff members were hurt during the skirmish, which began about 10:30 a.m. The fight involved inmates from several different racial groups, but it is not clear why it started, officials said. They said the cause will be part of the investigation.
It took about five minutes to contain the fight, Bengs said. The prison, which houses about 3,000 inmates, halted most inmate movements while the riot was investigated.
The brawl was on the B-Facility main exercise yard at the prison, which opened in 1986. It is next door to the much older Folsom State Prison. About 1,700 employees work at the California State Prison, Sacramento.