Skip to comments.Explosion Kills 2 at Escambia County Jail in Pensacola, Florida
Posted on 05/01/2014 2:41:40 AM PDT by csvset
At least two inmates died and more than 100 other people were injured when an apparent gas explosion collapsed part of a county jail in Pensacola, Florida, on Wednesday.
The blast occurred at the Escambia County Jail's Central Booking Facility at around 11 p.m. local time (midnight Thursday ET), officials said.
Kathleen Castro, the countys public information officer, confirmed the deaths to NBC News and said the both prisoners and corrections officials were among the wounded.
About 600 prisoners were in the building at the time. Uninjured inmates were being moved to other detention facilities, authorities added.
A victim of an apparent explosion at the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola, Florida, is loaded into an ambulance early Wednesday morning. T.S. Strickland / Pensacola News Journal A victim of an apparent explosion at the Escambia County Jail is loaded into an ambulance early Wednesday morning.
West Florida Hospital took in 37 patients with "very minor, non-life-threatening injuries, according to a spokesman.
"All of them have been seen in our ER, treated, and released back into custody, Kendrick Doidge told NBC News.
Sacred Heart Hospital said it also treated 31 patients with mostly minor injuries such as abrasions and neck pain.
Baptist Hospital and Gulf Breeze Hospital treated a combined 81 patients, according to Liz Branch, spokeswoman for Baptist Health Care.
More on this story from breakingnews.com
Primary and secondary sweeps of the facility were completed by 1:15 a.m. local time (2:15 a.m. ET) but search and rescue crews were continuing to work in the building, according to officials.
Pensacola had been hit by severe floods earlier in the day. It was not immediately clear if that was a factor in the explosion.
First published May 1st 2014, 4:39 am
This is horrible. You never know when a gas explosion will happen.
Seen it happen before
Water floods basement and drowns out gas boiler/water heater
Gas build up until explosive limit reached
Possible that is what happened.
Two inmates are dead, and three other people remain hospitalized after an explosion at the Escambia County Jail last night.
The three people in the hospital include two inmates, and a corrections officer. Their names and conditions have not been released.
The two men killed in the explosion have been identified as 45-year-old David Paul Weinstein and 54 year old and Robert Earl Simmons. Their bodies were removed late Thursday afternoon after the medical examiner and other investigators processed the scene.
Channel 3's Kalie Desimone joins us live this morning from the jail with more. We now have surveillance video taken from a bail bonds company, across the street from jail's central booking building on Leonard Street in Pensacola.
It captured the intensity of the blast that occured a little after 11 Wednesday night. In this video taken Thursday morning you can see damage. Windows blown out leaving just the blinds hanging out, walls gone and large hole where the back of the building used to stand.
There have been many reports of both inmates and corrections oficers complianing about a gas smell at least a day before the blast.
This man says his fiance was working in the kitchen at the time of the blast. The kitchen isn't very far from where the explosion is thought to have orginiated from. "She says she was sick and that everyone was acting goofy," said Brian Clark. Clark says though the damage is shocking to look at, the idea that something like this could happen at the jail isn't.
He says flooding a few years back made for horriffic conditions for the immate and coorectioanl officers alike. "They just got the kitchen back and downstairs back and this happened again," Clark said. Clark says he was less than impressed with how information was given out to family members. "My loved one is in there, no one deserves that . Correctional officers dont deserve that. It's horrible," Clark said.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the state fire marshal and local authorities are now working together to determine the cause People needing information about the jail should call the Citizens Help Line 471-6600 .