The roof of a privately run East Texas prison has collapsed, temporarily trapping dozens of inmates and sending 19 injured prisoners to hospitals.

Spokesman Issa Arnita said 86 inmates were in the area at the Diboll Correctional Center, about 160 kilometres northeast of Houston, at the time. One of those inmates was later airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston . Neither his identity nor his condition has been released.

In a statement, Arnita said the other inmates suffered cuts and bruises when wallboard fell from the ceiling of a housing area at about 11:30 a.m. CT.

The 518-bed minimum-security facility is operated by Centerville, Utah-based Management & Training Corp.