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Nevada correctional officer loses hand in accident
[Carson City, NV]

April 30, 2001

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Nevada correctional officer loses hand in accident
[Carson City, NV]

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Associated Press Sunday April 29th, 2001

A correctional officer lost her right hand in an accident during a training exercise Saturday at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.

Linda Hilton of the Lovelock Correctional Center was competing against other Special Response Team members from across the region when a “flash-bang” device accidentally discharged in her hand.

The device, which sends off a bright flash followed by a bang, is used by the prison system’s Special Response Team to distract inmates who pose a physical threat.

Prison spokesman Glen Whorton said the device should have discharged after being thrown. Hilton was walking with the device when it went off. It’s also supposed to discharge shortly after the release of a safety pin.

“At this point, we don’t know why it went off in her hand,” Whorton said.

An investigation into the cause of the 10:25 a.m. accident is under way by the prison system’s inspector general’s office and Carson City sheriff’s deputies.

Hilton was listed in serious but stable condition at Washoe Medical Center, where she underwent surgery. She also suffered burns, cuts and scrapes.

“Her injuries are not considered life threatening,” Whorton said. “Medical staff were on the scene for the competition and gave her prompt treatment.”

The competition drew about 100 people and was designed to test the competence of Special Response Team members, who respond to inmate disturbances.

Participants, who were visibly shaken, voted to cancel the rest of the competition after the accident. The accident occurred at the start of the event.

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