Only two hostages remain. Originally, police reported five hostages were taken and one was released, but the latest update states that four hostages were taken, with one released Wednesday afternoon and one released Wednesday evening.
UPDATE: Thursday, Feb. 2 at 5:45 a.m.
One more hostage has been released at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center north of Smyrna, leaving two hostages in Building C at the facility.
On Wednesday, Delaware State Police had reported five hostages were taken and one was released, but later revised that to four hostages. One Department of Correction employee who officials thought was one the hostages was located in another part of the prison.
On Wednesday afternoon, one hostage was released and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries at 2:42 p.m.
Another hostage was released Wednesday at 7:57 p.m. Both of those hostages are correctional officers.
At about 12:30 a.m., 14 inmates were released from Building C and are being held securely elsewhere in the facility, said DOC spokeswoman Jayme Gravell in a press release at 2:18 a.m.
So far 46 inmates and two hostages have been released from Building C, Gravell said.
Now, 82 inmates remain in Building C along with two hostages.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 11 p.m.
A protest in support of the prison rebellion at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center has been organized for Thursday morning by two Baltimore-based groups, Peoples Power Assembly and Workers World Party.
The groups used Facebook to describe their event:
"Join us at the Smyrna Prison to show support for those locked behind bars. The 2,500 inmates at the Vaughn facility are the real and ongoing hostages - hostage to subhuman conditions. We demand: that the demands of the prisoners be publicized and met; that there be no Attica; and that full amnesty be granted to all inmates....#VaughnRebellion #Attica#FullAmnesty #Justice4Prisoners In Baltimore, cars will leave at 7:30 a.m. sharp. For more info. call 410-218-4835. We will be announcing a meeting area for those coming from Philly, Delaware, MD and D.C."
In addition, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees AFL-CIO President Lee Saunders has released the following statement regarding the hostage situation:
“Today’s events are a terrible reminder of the risks these public service workers take on for the security and betterment of society, and we pray for a peaceful and safe resolution. The brave women and men who go to work every day in America’s correctional facilities put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe and help others rebuild and rehabilitate their lives. We owe all of America’s correctional employees a debt of gratitude and respect – and we owe them the resources and tools they need to do their jobs safely.”
UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m.
Five Department of Correction employees were taken hostage today but one hostage has been released at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center just north of Smyrna.
The incident occurred at about 10:32 a.m., said Delaware State Police Sgt. Richard Bratz.
A correctional officer made a radio call for immediate assistance in the "C" building which houses over 100 inmates.
Correctional officers responded to assist and the prison was placed on "lockdown," Bratz said.
Five Department of Correction employees were taken hostage.
One of those hostages was released, and at 2:42 p.m. was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Bratz said.
He said police and correction officials don't know if anyone else was injured.
Bratz did not say if the employees who were taken hostage were all correctional officers and he didn't take any questions from reporters, but we have confirmed that there was at least one prisoner injured and taken to Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital.
The State Police, Department of Correction and the FBI are continuing negotiations "to obtain a safe resolution," Bratz said.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 1:50 p.m.
The Delaware Department of Correction has confirmed an ongoing "hostage situation" today at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center just north of Smyrna.
Department of Correction response teams and the Delaware State Police are at the prison, according to a press release from DOC spokeswoman Jayme Gravell at 1:47 p.m.
"The Department of Correction will release additional information as it is appropriate," Gravell said.
Earlier today, firefighters from Citizens' Hose Company of Smyrna were dispatched to the prison for a report of a fire.
Citizens' Hose Public Information Officer Gene Tucker said Smyrna and Townsend fire companies received the report at 10:54 a.m. and responded for a possible structure fire with smoke inside the building.
When firefighters arrived, Department of Correction officials told them there was a possible fire, "but they also had a situation involving inmates and they were trying to get that controlled," said Tucker.
Firefighters didn't enter the facility. They waited for confirmation from Department of Correction personnel that the building was secure, but didn't receive confirmation to enter the building, Tucker said.
Smyrna and Townsend firefighters are still at the scene along with Delaware State Police and other law enforcement agencies, EMS ambulance units, Kent County paramedics and a hazardous materials team.
"This is a police issue and we are in support mode only, standing by until we are told our services are no longer required," said Tucker.