2 Inmates Killed in Florida Jail Collapse

'Apparent gas explosion' to blame in Pensacola

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2014 3:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two inmates were killed and as many as 150 inmates and corrections officers were injured when what authorities are calling an "apparent gas explosion" collapsed part of a county jail last night in Pensacola, Fla. "We had approximately 600 prisoners in the facility at the time. Injured prisoners are being transported under guard to area hospitals" and uninjured ones are being taken to other detention facilities, a county spokeswoman tells the Pensacola News Journal.

West Florida Hospital took in 37 patients with "very minor, non-life-threatening injuries" who have been treated and released back into custody, a spokeswoman tells NBC. Search and rescue workers have now completed two sweeps of the jail. Pensacola and the rest of the Florida Panhandle has been hit by severe flooding, but authorities say it's too early to tell whether the explosion was weather-related, the AP reports.

Around 600 prisoners were in the building at the time of the explosion.   (Clarence Worst)
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