Amid frigid cold, Tennessee prison loses heat - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Amid frigid cold, Tennessee prison loses heat

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Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. WSMV photo Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. WSMV photo

NASHVILLE (AP) - A Tennessee prison lost its main heating source on a frigid New Year's Day, and officials are trying to keep inmates and employees warm with extra blankets and portable heaters.

Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor says Riverbend Maximum Security Institution lost hot water pressure Monday, causing its boiler to go offline. The staff is assessing what caused the pressure loss and hasn't yet provided a timeline for its return.

Bobby Straughter, Assistant Commissioner of Operations, said crews worked overnight in extreme conditions to ensure everyone's safety.

Assistant Commissioner of Prisons David Sexton said the staff and inmates have been extremely understanding and cooperative.

State data show the maximum security facility held 787 inmates as of Nov. 30. It houses all of the state's male death row offenders.

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