An explosion at Escambia County Central Booking Facility at 11 p.m. Wednesday night caused a partial building collapse, according to county officials. About 600 inmates were in the facility at the time of the explosion. Two fatalities are confirmed. Reports said no confirmation on the cause of the blast has been released. Officials said between 100 and 150 prisoners and corrections officers were injured and transported to area hospitals, including Santa Rosa Medical Center, receiving 44 patients. Amanda Saveikonis, SRMC, said none of the patients treated had life-threatening injuries. More than 30 were treated and released. One patient is being admitted and the balance are still being evaluated and treated. “Physicians, nurses and other employees on our team responded quickly to the call and we thank them for their professionalism and expertise in managing through this situation,” said Saveikonis.
Baptist Hospital received 50 patients, twelve treated and released. Gulf Breeze Hospital reports receiving 31 with 13 treated and released at 5 a.m. Uninjured inmates were moved to other detention facilities in Escambia and Santa Rosa County.
Kaythleen Dough-Castro, chief public information officer for Escambia County said officials think the blast may be from a gas leak.