Rioting prisoners in Covid-hit jail set fire to cells in protest over lockdown

Out of control prisoners are flooding corridors, setting fire to cells and smashing windows at an Australian prison in protest against significant coronavirus lockdown measures there.

Queensland Corrective Services have admitted that a number of blazes were started inside cells at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre just outside Brisbane on Monday.

Prisoners, who are currently unable to leave their cells to a Covid-19 outbreak, were also pictured smashing windows and flooding their rooms.

The situation got so bad that the prison's medical staff walked out, local media reports.

The first fire in the morning was put out by prison officers, with five inmates suffering from smoke inhalation.

By the afternoon more fires had been lit, and a number of additional inmates and a prison officer required further treatment for smoke inhalation.

A Queensland Corrective Services statement read: "Officers from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre have been praised for their professionalism and resilience in dealing with a complex situation."

A banner reading "Covid FTS [f*** that s***] could also be seen hanging from a prison wall.

Huge piles of rubbish are also strewn outside the walls of inmates' cells.

Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin claimed as many as 20 inmates were involved in the riots.

"We are in a 14-day isolation period, currently we're at about day four, and so this has got a fair way to go and the prisoner population has largely been compliant," he said.

"This is a difficult situation and it's one that will go on for a considerable period of time until no further Covid-19 cases occur."

By Tuesday afternoon, Mr Smith claimed a "state of calm" had once again descended on the prison and inmates had been allowed out of their cells for set periods of time.

It is believed there are currently more than 1,000 inmates at Arthur Gorrie, despite the fact its official capacity is 890 prisoners.

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