SAYRE, Oklahoma - Seven inmates were injured Friday night after a fight broke out at the prison in Sayre, state corrections department officials said Saturday.

The fight started about 7:30 p.m. when staff at North Fork Correctional Center saw a group of inmates enter a pod and start a verbal confrontation with a second group of inmates. One group used homemade weapons during a physical confrontation when the incident escalated, the department of corrections said in a statement.

Six inmates were taken to a hospital in Elk City and one inmate was taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in Oklahoma City.

Prison staff members locked down the prison and broke up the fight. None of the staff was injured. 

"This was a significant incident, and due to the quick actions of our staff the situation was quickly contained", ODOC Director Joe M. Allbaugh said in a news release. "Our staff members do the best they can when it comes to properly securing our facilities. It's a difficult task we ask of them, because agency wide we have correctional officer (CO) staffing shortages. Our CO positions don't pay enough to be competitive in the job market and with the current budget crisis we are experiencing the situation isn't going to get any better anytime soon when it comes to filling vacancies."

The Office of Inspector General is investigating the incident.