Explosion injures at least 100 inmates, guards at Florida jail

by Reuters
Thursday, 1 May 2014 08:19 GMT

(Adds details on blast, injuries throughout)

May 1 (Reuters) - More than 100 inmates and guards were injured in an explosion at a jail in northern Florida late on Wednesday, an 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., said county spokeswoman Kathleen Castro. No deaths or fugitives were reported.

"The building is partially collapsed," Castro said. The blast apparently was a gas explosion, she said, but it was unclear what caused it. It might have been related to severe storms that have blasted the southern United States, she added.

"The facility did receive extensive flooding as a result of the rains yesterday," Castro said.

The facility holds about 400 men and 200 women. Injured prisoners were being transported to area hospitals, with those uninjured being sent to other detention centers in Escambia County and neighboring Santa Rosa County, Castro said. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Larry King)

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