Inmate dies from injuries after gas line explosion at Fresno gun range

Inmate dies after gas explosion outside a Fresno County Sheriff's Office gun range last month

A jail inmate who was among more than a dozen people injured in a gas line explosion outside a Fresno County Sheriff’s Office gun range last month has died, authorities said.

Jeremiah Espino, 52, died Monday at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

Espino was injured April 17 when a team of jail inmates building a dirt road accidentally struck the gas line, sparking an explosion that sent flames more than 100 feet into the air and injured 14 people, including Espino.

Two others remain hospitalized, authorities said.

The California Public Utilities Commission said it appeared no one had called the agency’s hotline to check for underground utility infrastructure near the range before digging began.

Witnesses described a scene of destruction after the blast, with a crater marking the point of the explosion.

PUC investigators will review PG&E‘s utility maps, assess the company’s response to the blast and determine who ultimately is to blame for the incident.

The inmates were part of a work program at the Fresno County Jail, Martinez said.

Times staff writer Diana Marcum contributed to this report.

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