UPDATE: Explosion At Escambia Co. Jail

UPDATE: Explosion At Escambia Co. Jail

Posted: Updated:
PENSACOLA, Fl. - 10:30 UPDATE: 2 Dead, 3 Inmates Missing

The sheriff knows the three missing male inmates are not at the hospital, so they are either in the jail building and likely dead or they have escaped. The men are not considered dangerous because the facility housed inmates waiting trial or convicted of lesser offenses. The more dangerous inmates are in the mail jail around the corner. Inmates relocated to main jail, "road camp" in northern Escambia County and Santa Rosa jail. All 200 female inmates are at Santa Rosa.

State Fire Marshal and ATF are investigating explosion and building safety.

Immediate family members of Escambia Co. jail inmates can call (850) 471-6600 for more information.

UPDATE: Authorities are still looking for 3 inmates following last night's jail explosion in Escambia County. Those inmates could be buried in the rubble, on the loose, or elsewhere -- authorities are not certain at this time.
For the second day in a row there’s chaos in Pensacola Florida. 
Yesterday it was heavy rains and flooding, today it’s an explosion at the Escambia County Jail. 
Officials in Escambia County say the explosion happened at 11 PM last night.  The front of the jail looks like it was hit by a terrorist attack.  It caused a lot of commotion in the area.  First responders from as far away as Gulf Shores were on scene to help.  We’ve seen a lot of people being wheeled in to ambulances.  The jail has been evacuated.  At least two people are dead, Escambia County officials say they were two inmates. More than 150 others are injured.  Their injuries range from minor to major.  Part of the jail collapsed in the explosion. 

Yesterday, heavy rains in Escambia County flooded the jail and other parts of the region.  So far officials can’t say whether that is related to this explosion.  The cause is still under investigation. 

A large crowd has gathered around the police enforced perimeter.  Many people are praying.  They’re praying for positive outcomes for loved ones who were hurt in the explosion.  We don’t know who was hurt and who wasn’t.  It’s a combination of corrections deputies and inmates.  Within the large crowd of people gathered here there’s a growing frustration over what they see as a lack of information from Escambia County officials.

“For one I want to know if my family members are alright they ain’t telling us noting, they should have told us by now,” says a frustrated Shakil Williams.  Escambia County officials say their first priority is to take care of the injured.

“Getting them to area hospitals and securing the inmates and making sure that they’re safe and that the community is safe and this is the first statement we’ve been able to make since 11 o’clock,” says Escambia County information officer Kathleen Castro.  It’s been another long night in Pensacola as officials try to figure out what happened.  

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan was angriliy confronted by a woman claiming his office is covering up reports from inmates that they smelled gas long before the explosion. Morgan said they do not have an accurate head count of inmates and says its possible some may have escaped during the jail transfer.

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