Delaware State Police used a backhoe to breach a building at the state's largest prison early Thursday, ending what the governor called a "torturous" hostage standoff that left one guard dead.

Inmates used "sharp instruments" to assume control of the building at the James T. Vaughn Correction Center in Smyrna on Wednesday, taking three prison guards and a woman counselor hostage. The inmates told a local newspaper that concerns about their treatment and the leadership of the United States had prompted their actions.

Authorities did not say how 47-year-old Sgt. Steven Floyd, of Dover, died. He was a 16-year veteran with the prisons agency. During the standoff, inmates negotiated to have the water turned on, which authorities said the prisoners used to fill up small foot lockers to build a wall at the prison entryways.

Police entered the building about 5:05 a.m. Thursday and found Floyd unresponsive. He was pronounced dead about 25 minutes later. His body is being taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

The counselor, a Department of Correction employee, was rescued. Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security Robert Coupe said some inmates had shielded her from harm, WBOC TV reports.