Smoking ban seems cause of 15-hour Australian prison riot

AP News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2015 8:29 PM

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australian authorities have ended a 15-hour prison riot by up to 300 inmates in Melbourne suspected to have been triggered by a ban on smoking.

Corrections Minister Wade Noonan says five prisoners required medical treatment for injuries including a broken jaw and dog bites following the riot at the Melbourne Remand Centre that ended Wednesday morning.

Officials say rioters armed with pieces of wood lit fires in buildings, broke down an internal wall and smashed windows during the chaos, forcing 200 staff to evacuate. The Victoria state prison department says four prison staff sustained minor injuries.

Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard says prisons across the state will remain locked down to avoid more riots as a statewide tobacco ban takes effect in prisons on Wednesday.