Tampa agents aid in panhandle jail explosion investigation - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Tampa agents aid in panhandle jail explosion investigation

Posted: Updated:
PENSACOLA, FL (WFLA) -

Federal investigators from Tampa are in the panhandle working with authorities there to determine what caused the blast behind bars that killed two inmates and injured countless others at the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola.

Agents from Tampa's Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms office are participating in the investigation.

David Brown is the assistant special agent in charge.

"At this point, we've just built out logistically, we have heavy equipment coming in,” said Brown. "Our national response team arrived this morning. We had our initial briefing, we're still waiting on some additional equipment to come in before we begin processing the scene."

Brown says a number of experts will be arriving in the coming days to aid in the investigation.

"We have senior or veteran ATF agents, we have certified fire investigators, we have explosives specialists," said Brown. "We have folks from our lab who come out here. We have fire research specialists and so on and so forth that come out. "

The explosion happened late Wednesday night in the booking area of the detention center. Authorities believe the torrential rains that flooded the facility may have been a contributing factor, but they say it's really too early to tell.

Two inmates died, and another 184 inmates and corrections officers were injured by the flying debris.

County officials identified the victims who died as Robert Earl Simmons, 54, of McDavid, Florida, just north of Pensacola, and David Paul Weinstein, 45.

Weinstein didn't have a panhandle address, but further investigation revealed he had a warrant for his arrest out of Hillsborough County for failing to pay child support. Deputies in Polk County had also arrested Weinstein.

Authorities say the investigation into what caused that explosion could take days.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Lesson learned: Severed snake heads can still bite

    Lesson learned: Severed snake heads can still bite

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:29 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:29:33 GMT
    Indochinese spitting cobra (Photo: Wikipedia)Indochinese spitting cobra (Photo: Wikipedia)
    It sounds like a wild fabrication: A spitting cobra, being prepared for a dish in a restaurant in southern China, bit and killed a chef 20 minutes after its head had been chopped off.
    It sounds like a wild fabrication: A spitting cobra, being prepared for a dish in a restaurant in southern China, bit and killed a chef 20 minutes after its head had been chopped off.
  • Beware of venomous puss caterpillars found in Florida

    Beware of venomous puss caterpillars found in Florida

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:00:52 GMT
    Puss caterpillar (Photo: University of Florida)Puss caterpillar (Photo: University of Florida)
    The may look fluffy and cute, but these caterpillars are anything but. Under all that fur on the puss caterpillar are venomous bristles that break off into the skin when touched by humans and cause serious pain.
    The may look fluffy and cute, but these caterpillars are anything but. Under all that fur on the puss caterpillar are venomous bristles that break off into the skin when touched by humans and cause serious pain.
  • Stacie talks to Ellen about season 12, debut on WFLA News Channel 8

    Stacie talks to Ellen about season 12, debut on WFLA News Channel 8

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:20 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:20:57 GMT
    WFLA anchor Stacie Schaible talks with Ellen about her upcoming season on WFLA News Channel 8WFLA anchor Stacie Schaible talks with Ellen about her upcoming season on WFLA News Channel 8
    An enthusiastic crowd had already gathered hours before The Ellen Show was scheduled to tape. When I arrived on the Warner's Brothers lot, I was greeted by one of Ellen's Producers. Though I hoped for a ride in Ellen's golf cart, we walked a few blocks to the set and my behind the scenes tour began.Ellen's studio is massive by Hollywood standards.
    An enthusiastic crowd had already gathered hours before The Ellen Show was scheduled to tape. When I arrived on the Warner's Brothers lot, I was greeted by one of Ellen's Producers. Though I hoped for a ride in Ellen's golf cart, we walked a few blocks to the set and my behind the scenes tour began.Ellen's studio is massive by Hollywood standards.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.