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Orlando massacre: Pulse exit blocked during recent inspection; club had twice exits needed

By Allen Cone
Emergency response and command vehicles surround the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla, June 16. City records indicated that though the club had twice as many exits as was required for its capacity, one of those exits was blocked by a soda machine in an inspection three weeks before the shooting. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/503ad5198e367a42a0057be0bcd2c3f1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Emergency response and command vehicles surround the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla, June 16. City records indicated that though the club had twice as many exits as was required for its capacity, one of those exits was blocked by a soda machine in an inspection three weeks before the shooting. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

ORLANDO, Fla., June 28 (UPI) -- At least one of six exits in the Pulse nightclub -- the scene of massacre that left 49 people dead in Orlando -- was blocked by a soda machine during the club's most recent inspection May 21, city records show.

The inspection was three weeks before the June 12 rampage that also injured 53 people.

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The inspection reports were part of 269 pages of public records related to the shooting that were released Tuesday.

Released records included text messages made and received by the Orlando police chief, fire chief and fire marshal, and police and dispatch records.

Although one of the exits was inoperable, the club had twice the number of exits required to accommodate its maximum occupancy of 300 patrons. After the shooting, officials said 320 people were inside the club.

It's unclear if the exit in question was still blocked on the night of the shooting.

The last annual fire inspection was Jan. 2 with no violations, Fire Marshall Tammy Hughes wrote in an email.

No 911 calls were part of the released documents although media companies are seeking to have them made public and the city says they are exempt under state law.

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Media organizations have gone to court to have the 911 calls released. A hearing is scheduled later this week on the 911 calls, including conversations between shooter Omar Mateen and crisis negotiators.

The FBI has released redacted transcripts of the 911 calls involving Mateen.

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