A gas explosion at a jail in the Florida Panhandle injured 100 to 150 inmates and corrections officers, a county spokeswoman said.

The explosion happened around 11 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday in Escambia County jail’s booking facility and caused the building to partially collapse, said Kathleen Castro, the county’s public information manager. About 600 inmates were in the building at the time, she said.

Ms. Castro didn’t know if flooding in the area was a factor but says the jail did get extensive flooding during heavy rains that drenched the region Tuesday and Wednesday.

The injured were brought to hospitals and the uninjured inmates were brought to jails in neighbouring counties, Ms. Castro said.

Spokespersons at the Sacred Heart Hospital and West Florida Hospital in Pensacola said the injuries they treated were all relatively minor.

Vicki Brooks, a spokeswoman for Sacred Heart, said they treated 31 patients with mostly neck and back injuries. Kendrick Doidge said West Florida Hospital treated 37 inmates in the emergency room and all have been released back into the custody of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

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