Medical crews take a man from Surrey Pretrial Services on Wednesday night.

Man dies in Surrey Pre-trial Services Centre

Another inmate hospitalized after an incident at the Newton-area holding cells

An inmate is dead and another is in hospital after a medical emergency at Surrey Pre-trial Services Centre on Wednesday night.

“Any death in our correctional centres is a tragedy and our condolences go to this inmate’s friends and family,” said B.C. Corrections spokesperson Cindy Rose.

“This is a very rare occurrence and B.C. Corrections will be conducting a critical incident review to determine what happened.”

While in-custody deaths are fairly infrequent, provincial statistics from 2004-2011 indicate Surrey Pre-trial Services Centre has the highest number of deaths at provincial correctional institutions in B.C.

The Newton facility has the third-highest number of fatalities when federal institutions are included.

Between 2004 and 2011 (the most recent figures available), there were 10 fatalities at Surrey pre-trial – one more than at Fraser Valley Regional Correction Centre during that time.

Federal institutions that surpassed Surrey pre-trial were Pacific Institution in Abbotsford, which had 25 deaths, and Mountain Institution in Agassiz at 14.

Of all the inmate deaths, about 60 per cent were attributed to natural causes.

Fourteen of them were from poisoning, 12 from hanging, three from beating, and two each from a fall, stabbing, strangulation, or suffocation.

Rose said that in Surrey’s latest incident, health care staff “responded quickly” and the coroner has been notified.

The men’s names have not been released due to privacy reasons.