No foul play in Calif. jail explosion, 10 hurt

One person suffered serious head wounds when an oven inside the Santa Rita Jail exploded


By Rick Hurd
Contra Costa Times

DUBLIN — Ten people were injured — including one person who suffered serious head wounds — when an oven inside the Santa Rita Jail exploded on Tuesday, authorities said.

The explosion occurred at 11:45 a.m. as inmates were in a kitchen preparing a meal, as they do three times a day, according to Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson. The explosion blew a seven-foot-tall steel oven door off its hinges, he said.

Six inmates were treated in the infirmary of the jail, which is located in the 5300 block of Border Boulevard, Nelson said. Four more inmates — including one who suffered serious head injuries — were taken to hospitals in an ambulance, Nelson said.

None of the injuries is considered life-threatening, Nelson added. A deputy who reported ringing in his ear was also examined at the infirmary and released.

Bomb technicians and arson officials are investigating why the oven exploded, Nelson said. The jail was locked down during the investigation, but was back to normal operations by 5 p.m.

The explosion may have lead to a brief "flash" of a fire, authorities said, but Alameda County Fire crews arrived to find no flames. A financial estimate regarding the damages to the kitchen and the jail were not available immediately, but the kitchen was not destroyed, authorities said.

No foul play is suspected.

Nelson said the jail has enough food in storage to feed the 3,000 inmates it houses for three days. He said the food production will continue without the oven for as long as necessary.

Copyright 2013 the Contra Costa Times


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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