Lock malfunction keeps deputies out of North Carolina jail

Offbeat and Unique

MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) — Instead of worrying about inmates getting out, it was officers trying to get into a North Carolina jail that was a problem when the locks malfunctioned, according to the sheriff.

Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant said jail staff noticed a smell of smoke inside the building late Wednesday afternoon, The News Herald of Morganton reported. Whisenant said doors started to fail in nine pods shortly after they noticed the smell, and the manual override keys would not open the lock leading into one of seven cell blocks.

The Morganton Department of Public Safety was sent to the jail to help with any fire and smoke and to break through the doors if necessary, Whisenant said. Staff also made preparations to evacuate the jail if needed, and 12 off-duty deputies were called in to work to help with supervising and moving inmates to other jails.

The sheriff’s office says inmates had been moved to cells with working locks by late Wednesday night.

The jail has been open for about 15 months. Several months after it opened, the magistrate’s office reported leaks in the roof, and leaks were discovered in other locations in the jail. Those leaks eventually were fixed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LKQD Outstream

Trending Stories