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Federal investigators begin task of determining cause of jail explosion
Federal investigators are in town today working to figure out what caused the explosion at the Escambia County Jail.
The blast happened just after 11 o'clock Wednesday night.
Two inmates are dead, and three other people remain hospitalized.
The three people in the hospital include two inmates, and a corrections officer.
Their names and conditions have not been released.
The two men killed in the explosion have been identified as 45 year old David Paul Weinstein and 54 year old and Robert Earl Simmons.
The surveillance video taken from a bail bonds company, across the street from jail's Central Booking building on Leonard Street in Pensacola.
The blast was so forceful, it broke windows in a nursing home next door.
A chaotic scene escalated as deputies worked to rescue their fellow officers and inmates.
There were 600 people in the building at the time.
The blast was believed to be caused by a gas leak, but that has not been confirmed.
There are widespread reports of inmates and corrections officers complaining about a gas smell at least a day before the blast.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the State Fire Marshal and local authorities are now working together to determine the cause.
The ATF National Response Team is on their way to the Escambia County Jail.
They will come armed with expertise and a variety of state-of-the-art equipment to help aid in the investigation.
The Florida State Fire Marshall's office requested the help from the National Response Team and the Special ATF agents. The National Response Team is always prepared to respond within 24 hours so they can assist state and local law enforcement or fire service personnel in onsite investigations. The team is usually has 13 to 18 members. Those members have a variety of abilities including determining where the blast actually occurred and its cause. Over the next few days the National Response Team will start reconstructing the scene, identifying the actual origin of the blast, conducting interviews and sifting through debris to find evidence related to the explosion.
The team is expected to arrive within the next 2 hours and will immediately begin helping local investigators who are already here.
As far as when will we know what exactly caused this explosion in the first place officials say it will take some time.
The investigation is expected to last about five days.