Montgomery County

Law Enforcement Officers Hurt in Explosion While Training at Montco Prison

The accident happened at the State Correctional Institution – Phoenix in Skippack Township

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An explosion during a training mishap at a prison left several law enforcement officers hurt Thursday morning in Montgomery County.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Philadelphia branch was holding explosives response training at the State Correctional Institution – Phoenix in Collegeville when a live training device unexpectedly detonated, the bureau said. The blast injured bomb technicians from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Pennsylvania State Police, and FBI Philadelphia, according to the bureau.

Police sources told NBC10 the five victims sustained serious head and shrapnel injuries.

NBC10’s Skyforce10 helicopter showed a white sedan that appeared badly burned on a grassy field. Several yards away, behind yellow police tape, were black SUVs, marked police vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks and several other cars.

Two officers had to be airlifted, while others had to be transported to hospitals by ambulance, a police source told NBC10. The condition of the two who were airlifted, one of whom the police source said is a Montgomery County Sherriff's Office deputy and the other a state police trooper, was not immediately clear.

The FBI confirmed one of the injured is a Philadelphia field office bomb technician. Police sources told NBC10 the other two are also MCSO deputies. The three deputies are 12, 13 and 14-year veterans of the force, the Montgomery County Office of Communications said.

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The FBI on Friday said that the "injuries vary and some are significant," but that none appear to be life-threatening. The bureau said its technician has been released from the hospital.

The FBI said it and the Pennsylvania State Police are investigating.

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