I spoke with Sheriff David Morgan on the phone about the explosion at the Escambia County Central Booking and Detention Center. Although his agency has not been in charge of the facility or the jail since Oct. 1, 2013, many are still looking to him for answers. Unfortunately he and his staff have to rely on others.
Sheriff Morgan said that the state fire marshall did say that there are stories from inmates and their families about smelling a gas leak before the explosion. No confirmation on whether that was hours or day before the explosion happened.
The jail personnel did not do a thorough search of the facility after the inmates were evacuated so it is possible two of the unaccounted for prisoners may still be in the center. The third unaccounted for person was an illegal alien and is thought to have escaped.
The county has set up a hot line at the Emergency Operations Center for families to call about the status of loved ones at the facility – 850-471-6600.