2 dead after Minneapolis school explosion

04 August, 2017, 00:05 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Minneapolis school explosion levels building

Two people remain unaccounted for after a gas leak caused building to explode and catch fire at Minnehaha Academy Wednesday morning, CBS Minneapolis reports.

"I'm not ready to call it a recovery yet", Fruetel told reporters at a 4:30 p.m press conference.

The Minneapolis Fire Department says a gas explosion caused the blast and partial building collapse Wednesday at Minnehaha Academy. "Deeply saddened to learn that former South High student Ruth Berg died in today's explosion at Minnehaha Academy", the school wrote.

The school confirmed two administrative staff members were killed.

School officials also announced that all summer program students "are accounted for and safe".

Hours after the explosion, officials told KMSP Fox 9 that contractors working on the building had ruptured a gas line near the boiler room.

"At least three of the injured were initially listed in critical condition and four others in serious condition following the blast".

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), known for investigating plane and train crashes, sent an investigative team to the school.

Dr. James Miner, chief of Emergency Medicine for HCMC, said during a news conference that this is something the hospital trains for and they were well prepared for the aftermath of Wednesday's explosion.

Chimali Day, a senior at Minnehaha Academy, told the Star Tribune she was in her counselor's office with her parents when she heard an employee yell, "Get out, there's a gas leak!"

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Jeff Wagner, a WCCO reporter, tweeted that numerous mourners donned Minnehaha Academy clothes and colors as they bowed their heads in prayer and joined hands in song.

The academy has about 825 students in grades Pre-K through 12, housed on two campuses. Authorities say at this point, they can not confirm any fatalities. "At the same time the lights went out and there was some debris that fell from the ceiling, so we just got out as fast as possible". And it's like, "we're not going back until we get this guy out of here".

When he turned 79, Carlson ran the school's 5K homecoming run, which struck many as appropriate.

"All the windows just burst out", she said.

A woman who identified herself as Berg's sister, and who lives in Idaho, wrote on Facebook that she is "trying to hold it together".

After the explosion, the school posted an alert to its Facebook page.

A school gym coach said that the explosion came seconds after an alarm was raised.

"I could see inside a Spanish class".

The blast knocked him off his feet, "and then it was just kinda chaos from there", he said.

Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement that his office "is in continuous contact with the city of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, as emergency personnel respond to this emergency".

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