Pensacola jail explosion kills 2
Pensacola, Florida was rocked again Wednesday night when an apparent gas explosion killed two people at the Escambia County Jail.
In the rubble and chaos, inmates were trapped and had to be rescued. Others were treated for their injuries in the parking lot. In all, 600 inmates rushed out of the jail. The injured were taken by bus to hospitals while the others were sent to nearby jails.
More coverage from the Pensacola News Journal
Family members gathered at Towne and Country Plaza early Thursday morning, awaiting word on loved ones who were in Escambia County Jail when a gas leak caused an explosion. Very little information was given to them, and emotions ran high.
Inmate Monique Barnes told The by telephone that she was knocked off her fourth floor bunk.
“The explosion shook us so hard it was like we were in an earthquake,” Barnes said. “It was like a movie, a horrible, horrible movie.”
Pieces of glass, brick and inmates’ flip flops were strewn about on the ground outside the jail. The front of the building app fake rolex eared bowed, with cracks throughout.
Barnes, who fake rolex spoke to AP after she was taken to another jail, said she and other inmates complained of smelling gas ahead of the blast, and some reported headaches.
County spokesman Bill Pearson said they didn’t receive any 911 calls about gas nor did they have any reports of an odor.
Investigators said it could take days to determine what caused the explosion. They were having a hard time getting to the epicenter in the back of the building because there was so much damage.
Joseph Steadman, the head of the state fire and arson bureau, described it as a “collapse of concrete floors between the basement and upper floors.”
He said it was still too early to say if the weather had anything to do with it.
Richard Long, a Colorado based engineer who owns a construction consulting firm, said flooding could cause a gas leak by moving pipes around. The flooding occurred in the jail’s basement, where the ki fake rolex tchen and laundry were located. No inmates were housed there, officials said.
More than 15 inches of rain fell on Pensacola on Tuesday, the rainiest single day since forecasters started keeping records in 1880. Neighborhoods were flooded and hundreds of people had to be rescued from homes and cars.
The jail was running on generator power after the flooding. Barnes, the inmate, said the toilets weren’t working, so inmates had to use plastic trash bags.
Pearson said 184 people were taken to hospitals and only two inmates and one corrections officer were still there Thursday afternoon. He wouldn’t describe the extent of their injuries, citing privacy laws.
One female inmate went into labor during the explosion and later had a healthy baby, county spokeswoman Kathleen Castro said.
About 200 men and 400 women were in the building. Barnes said during the evacuation, hundreds of inmates and corrections officers had to use one stairwell, “everyone pushing and bleeding.”
The names of the inmates killed weren’t immediately released.
“Every inmate is accounted for,” said Lumon May, chairman of the Escambia County board of commissioners. “Most important to us fake rolex was the lives and safety of our inmates.”
After the blast, a group of relatives and attorneys for the inmates stood behind police tape that cordoned off the area, trying to figure out where loved ones had been taken. Many family members were upset because they said they were left in the dark.