U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey as well as Rep. Joe Kennedy are calling for an independent investigation into an altercation between guards and inmates at the Bristol County C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center.

"I'm concerned by yesterday's incident at the Bristol County House of Correction, & the conflicting accounts," Warren tweeted. "My colleagues & I want an independent investigation, for detainees to have access to their lawyers, & for preservation of all video from the unit."

The incident, which took place Friday evening, happened after a group of 10 inmates held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention “refused to obey an order to be transferred to the jail’s medical facility” to be tested for COVID-19, said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson in a telephone interview with WGBH News.

The sheriff’s account of what happened was disputed by lawyers representing ICE detainees. Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, said the detainees declined to go to the medical facility because they feared for their safety.

“Lawyers for Civil Rights filed a federal class action lawsuit concerning the life-threatening conditions that place immigration detainees at Bristol County at substantial risk of COVID-19 infection,” said Espinoza-Madrigal. “We have been closely monitoring conditions at the detention facility and we have secured the humanitarian release of 48 of the immigration detainees at Bristol County. Additional releases may be secured through our lawsuit, and we suspect that the disturbance that took place at Bristol County is related to retaliation against our clients.”

Hodgson, who blamed unnamed "activists" for the disturbance, said after he had left the facility on Friday he received a call from his medical staff and rushed back to find inmates squaring off against jail guards.

“I was right in the middle of it,” he said. “I explained to [the detainees], ‘Look, you all have been yelling and screaming, claiming you need to get out of here because you're afraid of COVID-19 exposure,’ which we have none [of], by the way."

Hodgson said he told the detainees that they could either go voluntarily or be escorted to the medical facility. The officers called the names of each of the inmates to stand and be escorted to the nearby facility, according to Hodgson. “None got up. They all refused to go,” he said.

Hodgson alleges that the detainees caused extensive damage to the wing.

“One guy threw a chair, hit me. And then they all started wreaking havoc in the place. We backed our people out. We barricaded the doors. They trashed the prayer room with a handicap pole. They ripped off the bathroom wall. They pulled the dryers away from the wall and put them in front of the doors. They broke the windows in the bathroom, broke the sinks, the toilets. And so, of course, the next step for us was to call in our special operations team, which we did,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson denied allegations that the detainees were pepper sprayed by guards and abused by staff.

On Saturday, Markey called for an independent investigation and the release of detainees who don't pose a public safety risk.

"We needed to release detainees a long time ago," the senator said. "The disturbing reports from last night underscore that fact."

In a statement, Kennedy also called for an independent investigation and said, "All people held at this facility deserve to be treated with humanity and dignity."

Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which represents ICE detainees in various state facilities, also told WGBH News an independent investigation was needed.

“That includes making sure that all of the ICE detainees have access to counsel, have access to any video recordings that were taken at the time, and that it's independent," Rose said. "It has to be done by someone other than the sheriff himself — in light of the fact that there are accusations that he is personally involved.”

Rose also appealed to Gov. Charlie Baker, asking him to use his executive powers to ensure that “there are safe, humane and transparent protocols in place to make universal testing available at all jails and prisons and to make sure that people aren't punished if they test positive” for COVID-19.

Prisons and jails across the country are reporting disproportionate numbers of inmates and guards testing positive for the disease.

No guards or staff were reported injured in the Bristol County incident, but three detainees sought medical attention, according to Hodgson. All three are expected "to be fine," the sheriff's department added.

Hodgson said that he plans to bring charges against as many inmates “as we can identify by tape” for their roles in the disturbance.