A total of 155 patients were treated at five nearby hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries. Two people were killed. The explosion was felt over an area of three miles. Part of the Escambia County jail, the roof and part of a wall, collapsed. The streets around the facility had been cordoned off. The jail did get extensive flooding during heavy rains that drenched the region Tuesday and Wednesday but it’s not established if this prepared conditions for the deflagration damaging gas pipelines. The uninjured inmates were brought to jails in neighboring counties. Some 600 prisoners were evacuated. School buses were used to transport them.
People, and especially the relatives of the inmates, were frustrated by the lack of communication. “We don’t know if they’re dead or alive. It’s really frustrating,” said many of them. Kathleen Dough-Castro, chief public information officer for the county, said that families will be informed in the second step. The cause of the explosion was being investigated by the Escambia County Fire Marshal and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A strong odor of gas as late as 90 minutes before the explosion was perceived.