December 21, 2014
Two killed, over 100 injured in Florida jail explosion
Two inmates were killed and between 100 and 150 prisoners and guards injured in an apparent gas explosion at a jail in northern Florida, a county official said.
The blast partly leveled the four-story Escambia County Jail's central booking facility, which held roughly 600 inmates, at about 11 p.m. yesterday, county spokeswoman Kathleen Castro said. No escapees were reported.
"We have reports people heard an explosion and smelled gas. There was no fire," she said, adding that the blast may have been related to severe storms that have hit the southern United States.
"The facility did receive extensive flooding as a result of the rains yesterday," Castro said.
She said two inmates were killed and between 100 and 150 of those present were injured, adding it was unclear how the inmates died or the breakdown of injured inmates and guards.
A statement on the Escambia County website made no mention of gas, saying only it was an "apparent explosion" after earlier reporting it was "an apparent gas explosion".
The facility, holds about 400 men and 200 women. Injured prisoners were being transported to hospital, with those uninjured being sent to other detention centers in Escambia County and neighboring Santa Rosa County, Castro said.