07/21/2016 10:40 EDT | Updated 07/21/2016 10:59 EDT

Burnaby Youth Detention Centre Riot Causes Major Damage: Union

BURNABY, B.C. - Officials say a riot at a young offenders jail in Burnaby, B.C., has caused extensive damage.

Inmates started smashing microwaves, windows and other items in a living unit at the Burnaby Youth Detention Centre on Tuesday night, said Dean Purdy with the union representing corrections officers.

Between seven and 10 inmates were responsible for the riot at the Burnaby Youth Detention Centre, said the union. (Photo: Government of B.C.)

The young offenders then broke into a staff area and a second living unit, and continued destroying items, pulling out sprinklers and starting fires, he said.

"They continued to riot on the second living unit for some time, completely destroying windows, tables, microwaves, dishwashers and sprinkler heads, causing a major flood."

He said the union has heard between seven and 10 inmates were responsible for the riot.

Union warned this might happen

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Children and Family Development confirmed police and fire crews were called in for a "serious incident" at the detention centre.

The spokesperson said the incident caused "extensive damage," including fire damage, but no one was injured.

Corrections officers have reported high tensions at the jail over the past 18 months, since a similar facility was closed and the inmates transferred to Burnaby, Purdy said.

"This is something we warned them about over a year and a half ago when they closed the Victoria Youth Custody Centre," he said.

"We said at that time that violence would increase and we've seen that over the last year and a half."

Purdy said the union has concerns about whether the riot could have been prevented and will be following up with both the ministry and WorkSafeBC.

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