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LATEST: 2 killed in Escambia Co. jail explosion


Two inmates are dead, and three others remain hospitalized after an explosion at the Escambia County jail last night.

The three people in the hospital tonight include two inmates, and a corrections officer.
Their names and conditions have not been released.

The two men killed in the explosion were David Paul Weinstein and Robert Simmons.

This is surveillance video taken from a Bail Bonds Company, across the street from jail's central booking building on Leonard street in Pensacola.
It captured the blast that knocked out windows and walls in the front and destroyed the rear walls.

The blast was so forceful, it broke windows in a nursing home next door.
A chaotic scene escued, as deputies worked to rescue their fellow officers and inmates. A total of 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.

This is what we know about the explosion at Escambia County jail.
Two inmates dead

184 people were treated, including inmates and correction office staff.
Most of them have been released, but three people are still in the hospital.

All inmates are accounted for.    
600 people were housed at the jail at the time of the explosion.

Among those injured at the hospital, are two inmates and a corrections officer. We don't know they're condition at this time.
The rest have been treated and released and are being temporarily housed at area facilities.
Officials believe the explosion started on the first floor, severely damaging a portion of the jail.

Surveillance video from Asap Bonds, captured the explosion.
It lasted only a few seconds, but enough to shake the entire building.

"I was in bed...I knew right away it was a big explosion."

600 people housed at the jail, two did not make it out alive.

This is the ambulance taking those bodies away earlier Thursday afternoon.
Moments after the explosion, frantic family and friends were desperate for information.

One woman we spoke with says, her sister and mother were at the jail and had been complaining of smelling gas.
"For two days they could smell gas. She said the day of the storm they only ate two sandwhiches and there was no water or power."

Officials won't say that this was caused by a gas leak.
The jail's basement did flood during Wednesday's storm.

The county says there were no complaints or service calls about natural gas leak in the days leading up to the blast.
Those allegations will be investigated.

Although no longer in charge of the jail, Sheriff Davide Morgan says the future of the building itself is unknown.   
"The best guess and this is speculative, is that the building is a total loss. We will probably have to tear down and build another."

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.