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TODAY   |  May 01, 2014

Fla. prison explosion kills at least 2, injures 150

A massive explosion overnight leveled part of a crowded Florida jail. At least two people are dead and more than 150 officers and inmates are injured. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> morning, everyone. welcome to "today" on a thursday morning. got a big story unfolding in florida today .

>> that's right. obviously a scary situation. a deadly explosion at a jail in pensacola. an area that's still dealing with some record flooding. we'll talk more about that in a second. nbc's gabe gutierrez is there. gabe, what can you tell us?

>> reporter: matt, good morning. the explosion, the apparent gas explosion happened around 1:00 last night and this morning emergency officials are still assessing the damage and trying to figure out exactly what happened. right now at least two people are dead. around 150 others were injured. that includes both corrections officers and inmates. we're told most of them have non-life threatening injuries. this morning search and rescue teams have been scouring the building looking for survivors. but right now we are told everyone is accounted for. this was a massive explosion. much of the building is destroyed. part of it collapsed. one witness called it, again, a massive explosion and he said that the earth shook like an earthquake. this building had around 600 people inside of it at the time and again, everyone accounted for and the remaining inmates have been transferred to other local facilities.

>> so the facility is secure. there have been some major rains in that area, gabe, lots of flooding. i've heard some say that may have contributed to the explosion in some way?

>> reporter: well, authorities are investigating the exact cause of the explosion, but as you said, there's been record breaking flooding here. this building suffered extensive flooding yesterday. jail officials do tell me that this explosion does appear to be related to that flooding. this building had also flooded back in 2012 but nothing like this. now, after this explosion, the building has been deemed structurally unsound. matt?

>> gabe gutierrez on this story down in florida, gabe, thank