SASKATOON -- Police officers, firefighters and paramedics were on scene for a disturbance at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre (PACC) on Monday afternoon.

Inmates in one building were yelling and appeared to be smashing windows. One held up a sign out of his window which read, ‘We’re getting treated like animals.’ The group was also waving what looked like towels or blankets.

Light smoke was billowing out of a few of the windows for about half an hour.

Police were blocking off the area around the main gate.

The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety said it was looking into the matter and would provide information on Tuesday. The Prince Albert Police Service did not provide comment.

Although the inmates’ motive is unclear, prisoners at facilities across the province have been protesting against conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic — some at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre and Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert are on a hunger strike.

The ministry said 14 inmates at the PACC currently have COVID-19.