A prison wing which was taken over by about 60 inmates has been reclaimed and the unrest at HMP Swaleside in Kent has been quelled.

Inmates took control of a wing of the Category B training prison on the Isle of Sheppey on Thursday (22 December) causing an "ongoing disturbance."

Specialist "Tornado" teams were sent into the jail but a Prison Service spokeswoman said all those involved had "surrendered and were back in cells by 1am".

HMP Swaleside
HMP Swaleside in Kent Terryjoyce / CC

A spokesperson for the Prison Service has said: "The incident in contained to one landing on A wing. The rest of the prison is secure with all prisoners locked in cells."

Officers were drafted from across the south east to prevent the disturbance spreading to other wings of the prison.

Earlier, the Prison Officers Association chairman Mike Rolfe said that inmates had started fires amid scenes of rioting.

According to The Telegraph, Rolfe said: "There is an ongoing disturbance there (at Swaleside). We are not sure how bad it is yet but we understand 60 prisoners have taken control of 'A' wing there. Some fires have been lit, apparently, and basically we know that it's an ongoing incident."

The disturbance has been described by some media as an act of "co-ordinated unrest" as images from inside the prison are being circulated on Twitter.

HMP Swaleside, on the Isle of Sheppey, has eight wings comprised of single cells with a capacity of around 1,100 inmates. Almost 500 of the inmates are serving life.

An HM Inspectorate of Prisons report in July described the prison as "dangerous" and found a high incidence of violence. It said 69% of prisoners "had felt unsafe at some time while at Swaleside, a result which was significantly higher than at similar prisons".

The Swaleside incident is the fifth disturbance at an English prison in less than two months following riots at HMP Lewes, HMP Bedford, HMP Moorland, and HMP Birmingham.

Last week 600 prisoners were involved in a 12-hour stand-off with specialist riot officers at HMP Birmingham, one of the country's biggest jails. Prison staff at the privately-run institution lost control of all four wings after an officer was "rushed" by inmates.

In October an inmate was stabbed to death and two others injured at Pentonville in north London.