Ravenhall prisoners rioting.
Ravenhall prisoners rioting. SEVEN NEWS/AAP

Prison staff evacuated as 300 inmates riot over smoking ban

POLICE and emergency services have been called to a riot at a maximum security prison in Victoria, reportedly involving up to 300 inmates.

As many as 200 staff were evacuated from the state-run Metropolitan Remand Centre at Ravenhall, after riots began at about 12.30pm.

A Corrections Victoria spokeswoman confirmed the department was investigating a "disturbance" at the prison, but she could not provide any further information.

She could not verify speculation the riot was related to a tobacco smoking ban due to come into effect at the centre.

Channel Seven images taken from a helicopter above the prison yard show inmates carrying sticks with their faces covered inside the jail.

It is understood emergency services teams including ambulance officers and fire crews attended the prison.

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