Two prison guards have been rushed to hospital after being “poisoned” by an unknown substance at one of Scotland’s most notorious jails.
Staff locked down HMP Addiewell following the incident on Thursday afternoon, leading to ten people coming into contact with the undisclosed illicit material.
Six of the guards and the two prisoners did not require medical attention, however two guards were taken to St John’s Hospital by ambulance as a precautionary measure.
A spokesperson for the prison said: “We can confirm that on June 1, some of our staff responded to an incident where two prisoners appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
“As a result, some members of the responding team subsequently developed symptoms which required medical attention, with two colleagues attending hospital for precautionary assessments.”
They said enquiries into the incident are ongoing, and thanked emergency crews for their support.
Trade union Community condemned the incident, demanding urgent action to “prevent the poisoning of prison staff at work” in the future.
Steve Farrell, the union’s regional secretary for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “This extremely concerning incident is a sobering reminder of the challenges prison officers are facing across the Scottish prison estate.
“No one should live with the constant threat or fear that they might be assaulted, or their lives put at risk while at work.
“Yet our members are all too often faced with that reality and are being subjected to threats and abuse from prisoners who have access to and are using these drugs.”
He said the union has penned a letter to the Scottish Government asking for an action plan to stop psychoactive substances and other contraband from entering prisons.
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call at 2.59pm on June 1 to attend an incident at Addiewell Prison.
“We dispatched a number of resources, including the Special Operations Resource Team, and two patients were transported to St John’s Hospital, Livingston.”