11 injured in oven explosion at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin

Santa Rita Jail in Dublin is under lockdown after an explosion in the kitchen of the jail injured 11 people.
December 17, 2013 6:07:44 PM PST
Santa Rita Jail in Dublin is under lockdown after an explosion in the kitchen of the jail injured 11 people. The incident is being called a natural gas explosion that ignited from one of the industrial size baking ovens. Fire fighters and ambulance personnel rushed to the jail after the explosion.

"[11:45 a.m.] in the kitchen of Santa Rita Jail there was an explosion in one of the bakery ovens. It had a pretty significant over pressure, blew the door completely off the oven," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

The size of that oven door is 7 feet wide and when it blew off, it hit one of the inmates in the head. He was transported to the hospital. And, so were three other inmates. Six others were hurt but they were treated at the jail. A sheriff deputy who was inside the kitchen complained of ringing in his ears.

Inside that commercial kitchen are several ovens dating back to 1989.

"Upon arrival the first crews found that there had been a natural gas explosion in one of the ovens and we declared what we call a multiple casualty incident, MCI. We had a number of people that appeared to be injured and turned it essentially from a fire into a medical call," said Rob Schnepp of the Alameda County Fire Department.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the explosion and if there was a gas leak. The kitchen cooks meals for thousands of inmates. Santa Rita is the third largest jail in the state.

"We have a three day supply, so we don't anticipate this to affect the food of the inmates here, so we're set there and again, this is a baking oven so it's not critical," said Nelson.

The kitchen will remain closed while the investigation continues.

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