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St. Petersburg residents can’t return home after drug lab explosion

Evacuees weren’t allowed back into their apartments until dangerous chemicals were removed, according to St. Petersburg police.

ST. PETERSBURG — Residents of an apartment complex who were evacuated after a drug lab exploded inside an apartment were still stranded Wednesday night, according to police, unable to return home because of the presence of “volatile chemicals.”

The explosion took place shortly after 3 p.m. at the Alta Mar at Broadwater complex at 3906 34th Terrace S, police said, about two miles north of Eckerd College.

Those inside the apartment when the explosion took place were able to leave after it occurred, police said. But officials did not say if anyone was injured in the incident. The Tampa Bomb Squad was sent to the complex to investigate the explosion.

The explosion led to the evacuation of 11 other units in the area as a precaution. At first, police officials said those residents were able to return to their apartments in the afternoon.

But then at 9:45 p.m., St. Petersburg police officials said they had gotten it wrong earlier: The residents were still unable to return home , that it was unsafe for them to do so until the dangerous chemicals were removed.

No other details about the incident were released by police. It was not known what accommodations were being made for the evacuated residents.