Criminal Justice

Two inmates are killed in apparent gas explosion at Florida jail

Updated: Two inmates died and more than 100 inmates and workers were injured in an apparent gas explosion late Wednesday night at a jail in Pensacola, Florida.

Sheriff David Morgan said at a press conference on Thursday morning that some inmates could have escaped and some could still be in the rubble, the Pensacola News Journal reports. A head count is underway, but officials can’t enter what remains of the partially collapsed facility until it is declared structurally sound, he said.

About 600 inmates and corrections officers were at the jail during the explosion. Uninjured prisoners were transported by bus to other facilities. CNN and the Associated Press also have stories.

Escambia County spokeswoman Kathleen Castro said it’s too early to tell whether flooding that damaged the jail was related to the explosion. Morgan said the explosion occurred in the rear of the building’s first floor, which had some flooding after a heavy rain.

Five hospitals treated those injured in the explosion.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. to include information from Thursday morning press conference.

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