Baking Explosion at Santa Rita Jail, 11 Injuries, Oven Door Blows Off

By Monte Francis and Lisa Fernandez
|  Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013  |  Updated 6:02 PM PDT
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An oven explosion in a kitchen at Santa Rita Jail on Tuesday injured a sheriff's deputy 10 inmates who were baking something just before lunch. Monte Francis reports.

An oven explosion in a kitchen at Santa Rita Jail on Tuesday injured a sheriff's deputy 10 inmates who were baking something just before lunch. Monte Francis reports.

An oven explosion in a kitchen at Santa Rita Jail on Tuesday injured a sheriff's deputy and 10 inmates who were baking something just before lunch.

The explosion was reported just after 11:30 a.m. in a kitchen at the jail located at 5325 Broder Blvd. in Dublin, according to Alameda County fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles.

The oven door was about seven feet tall by three feet wide and weighed about 200 to 300 pounds.

"This is a very large oven. The door is taller than I am,” said Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. “For some reason there was some over pressure that caused the door to be blown off.”

Of the 11 people injured, seven were treated at the jail infirmary - including the deputy - while four were taken to hospitals, Knowles said. 

One of the inmates was taken to the hospital with critical head injuries, officials said.

"Upon arrival, there was quite a bit of chaos, a lot of inmates in the kitchen, and there was damage consistent with an over pressure in the oven,” said the Alameda County Fire Department’s Rob Schnepp.

The ovens were in use at the time of the explosion.

Inmates who work in the kitchen were busy making baked goods of some kind.

Fire inspectors are now trying to determine what exactly caused the oven to explode.

Foul play is not suspected.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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