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Blast at Florida jail kills two inmates and injures up to 150 others

Published on May 1, 2014 5:38 PM

SEATTLE (REUTERS) - Two inmates were killed and between 100 and 150 prisoners and guards were injured in an apparent gas explosion at a jail in northern Florida late on Wednesday, a county official said.

The blast partly levelled the four-storey Escambia County Jail’s central booking facility, which held roughly 600 inmates, at about 11 pm local time, county spokesman Kathleen Castro said. No escapees were reported.

“The building is still standing, its just unstable and partially collapsed,” Ms Castro told Reuters, describing the incident as an “apparent gas explosion”.

“We have reports that people heard an explosion and smelled gas. There was no fire,” she said, adding that the blast may have been related to severe storms that have hit the southern United States.

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