Pensacola, Fla., Jail Explosion Occurs Following Nearly Two Feet of Rain
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, May 01 2014 @ 02:31 PM EDT
AccuWeather Global Weather Center -- 1 May 2014 -- AccuWeather reports a deadly gas explosion occurred at the Escambia County Central Booking Facility in Pensacola, Florida, late Wednesday night, following severe flooding across the area. More than 100 people were injured and two inmates were killed by the explosion, according to the Associated Press.
The explosion resulted in a partial building collapse, Escambia County said on its website.
The incident occurred in the wake of major flooding in the Pensacola area. The city picked up 15.55 inches of rain on Tuesday, the all-time wettest day on record there.
County spokeswoman Kathleen Castro told the Associated Press that the jail was flooded during the heavy rains but didn't know whether that was a factor in the explosion.
"They received a lot of rain and it doesn't go away that quickly because of the relatively flat topography of the land," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.
In the last few days alone, the area has received nearly 25 inches of rain, causing massive flooding in Pensacola and the surrounding area.
The immense amounts of water in the region may halt cleanup efforts, as more showers and thunderstorms are expected in the area Thursday.
However, by the weekend, the city should dry out and that could aid cleanup from the explosion and the recent storm system.
With cleanup efforts underway, injured prisoners are being transported to local area hospitals. Uninjured inmates are being moved to other detention facilities in Escambia County and neighboring Santa Rosa County, the county said.
The Escambia County commissioners operate three correctional facilities: the Main Jail, the Central Booking & Detention Facility and the Video Visitation Facility.
Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com