Authorities responding to situation at Lee Correctional Institution

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At least seven people are dead after fights broke out at a maximum security prison in SC, according to authorities.

At least seven inmates are dead and 17 other people are injured after hours-long rioting at a maximum-security prison in SC, according to the state's corrections department.

The fighting began at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville at 7:15 p.m. ET Sunday.

The department of corrections says all law enforcement officers who responded to the prison are safe and accounted for.

In a statement, SCDC Police Services and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said they will be investigating the incident.

A local coroner was also called to the scene, according to reports.

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The commander-in-chef added, "In the last century, we looked straight into the darkest places of the human soul". The attack last week killed dozens of people including children. "This was not muscle flexing.

Overview of the Lee Correctional Facility in Bishopville, South Carolina.

In March, inmates at the prison held an officer hostage after taking control of a dorm room, The State reported.

Officials have not released the names of the seven inmates killed in the riot, not have officials commented on the condition of the 17 injured inmates.

Two officers were stabbed in a 2015 fight.

Check back for updates on this developing story.