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Four inmates found dead at South Carolina prison

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Four inmates were found dead at a South Carolina prison, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said.

Guards found the inmates at 10:35 a.m. in a dorm at Kirkland Correctional Institution, a state maximum security site outside Columbia that holds approximately 15,000 offenders, said Sommer Sharpe.

“I have asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to lead this investigation,” state prisons chief Bryan Stirling said in a statement.

Authorities did not provide details about how the inmates died.

The South Carolina prison has a history of violent incidents and deaths.

Last year, three correctional officers were fired after authorities said they stabbed an inmate four times in the torso. The officers were charged with attempted murder and misconduct in public office, CNN affiliate WIS reported.

In 2015, a 21-year-old man jailed at the prison died when he suffered a head injury. The coroner’s office determined that the injury was not caused by a fall, officials said in a statement.

A few months before, two inmates serving life sentences took two nurses hostage and held them with homemade knifes for about seven hours, according to CNN affiliate WACH.