Most Hurt In Florida Jail Blast Out Of Hospital - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Most Hurt In Florida Jail Blast Out Of Hospital

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - An official in Florida says nearly all of the inmates and corrections officials injured in an apparent gas explosion at a jail have been released from hospitals.
   
Escambia County spokesman Bill Pearson said Thursday that 184 people were taken to hospitals after the blast and only two inmates and one corrections officer are still there. Pearson wouldn't describe the extent of their injuries.
   
Two inmates were killed in the explosion late Wednesday. Authorities say three inmates are missing.
   
The blast created confusion as hundreds of inmates and officers had to evacuate the building, which was all but destroyed.
   
The Pensacola area was soaked by record-setting rains this week and parts of the jail were flooded, but officials have not determined if the weather had anything to do with the explosion.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE: PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - An inmate says she and other inmates had complained of smelling gas ahead of an apparent explosion that rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle, killing two inmates and injuring as many as 150 people.
   
Monique Barnes says she was knocked off her fourth-floor bunk in the explosion late Wednesday night in Pensacola. She told The Associated Press the explosion shook inmates so hard "it was like we were in an earthquake."
   
The sheriff wouldn't comment on whether inmates complained about smelling gas.
   
The explosion created a chaotic scene as inmates were bused to hospitals and nearby jails when the crippled building had to be evacuated.
   
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said Thursday three inmates still are unaccounted for and the jail was almost completely destroyed.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

PREVIOUS STORY:
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A gas explosion at the jail in Pensacola, Florida, killed two people and injured more than 100 others, according to an Escambia County spokeswoman.The explosion happened around 11 p.m. CDT Wednesday in a booking facility at the Escambia County Jail, said Kathleen Castro, the county's public information manager. The blast also injured 100 to 150 inmates and corrections officers and caused the building to partially collapse.

She said about 600 inmates were in the building at the time.

Castro said she didn't know if flooding in the area was a factor but said the jail did get extensive flooding during heavy rains that drenched the region Tuesday and Wednesday.

The injured were brought to hospitals and the uninjured inmates were brought to jails in neighboring counties, Castro said.

Victims were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital, West Florida Hospital and two Baptist Health Care hospitals in Pensacola and nearby Gulf Breeze.

Vicki Brooks, a spokeswoman for Sacred Heart, said they treated 31 patients with mostly neck and back injuries. Kendrick Doidge said West Florida Hospital treated 37 inmates in the emergency room and all have been released back into the custody of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

Of the 50 patients taken to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, 12 had been treated and released by Thursday morning, said spokeswoman Liz Branch. At Gulf Breeze Hospital, 13 of the 31 patients from the explosion were treated and released.

The names of the two people killed in the explosion weren't immediately released.

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