Six inmates took the warden and several other people hostage at a prison in the southern Taiwanese port city of Kaohsiung on Wednesday, the official Central News Agency and other news reports said.
The six inmates – convicted of burglary, murder and drug crimes – were believed to be armed, CNA said. Witnesses interviewed by private cable news station TVBS said gunshots were heard.
Quoting a legal department official, the news agency said the warden offered to be a hostage in exchange for a vice warden, who earlier volunteered with another prison official to be hostages for negotiations.
The inmates initially took some staff members of the prison hostage, the news agency said.
It said two people might be injured but gave no further details.
CNA said the inmates were demanding a vehicle that would allow them to leave. It said police were on the scene confronting the inmates and investigating the reason for the hostage taking.
Live video on the TVBS website showed dozens of police and fire engines arriving at the prison. TVBS said a prison guard had tried to stop a quarrel among inmates and was beaten and taken hostage.