Criminal negligence charges possible in fatal Escambia County Jail explosion

Escambia Co Jail
Posted at 8:39 AM, May 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-14 10:26:59-05

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - State Attorney Bill Eddins says criminal negligence charges in the fatal explosion at a Florida jail are possible if investigators find that authorities smelled gas but failed to evacuate inmates and officers.

Eddins tells The Associated Press in an interview that he's assigned an investigator and an assistant state attorney to the case at the Escambia County Jail.


The April 30 explosion killed two inmates, paralyzed a detention officer and injured about 200 others.


Around 600 inmates were in the jail when the blast ripped through the bottom floor a day after heavy rains left two feet of water in the Pensacola building's basement.


Investigators are combing through the debris to try to determine a cause.


Many inmates have said they complained about smelling gas hours before the explosion.