The riot at the Reception Center West at the California Institution for Men in Chino, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, broke down along racial lines, with black prison gangs fighting Latino gangs in hand-to-hand combat, the authorities said.
The fighting lasted 11 hours before it was put down, said Mark Hargrove, spokesman of the prison. It erupted in one barracks and quickly spread to six others, Hargrove said.
Prisoners ripped pieces of metal from lockers, destroyed beds and broke off pipes to use them as weapons, Hargrove said. A fire broke out in the chaos, burning down one dormitory, he said.
Most of the injuries were considered minor to moderate, including stab wounds and slashes. One inmate suffered a serious head injury. However, none of the injuries were considered life-threatening.
No prison employees were injured, no deaths were reported, and no inmates escaped, prison officials said.
Of the 55 inmates sent to hospitals, 17 remained hospitalized by Sunday evening.
Damage to the 1,300-inmate medium-security prison was "significant and extensive," said Hargrove. One housing unit was virtually destroyed and the other housing areas were so badly damaged that they were uninhabitable, he said.
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