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Minneapolis School Explosion Causes Partial Collapse; 2 Missing

04 August 2017, 12:35 | Marta Robbins

Courtesy KSTP Chopper 5

Courtesy KSTP  Chopper 5

A school collapsed in Minneapolis after an explosion.

Authorities said early indications are the blast was caused by a ruptured gas line.

Jacobson said there were faculty from the school in the area of the explosion.

The school says longtime receptionist Ruth Berg died in the blast, and that janitor John Carlson remained unaccounted for Wednesday evening.

"It's just a very precarious situation", Fire Chief John Fruetel told a press conference.

"He wasn't scheduled to work today but he came in anyway", said the friend, Dave Swanson, who stood watch during the search on behalf of Carlson's wife, who couldn't be there.

Officials said the building sustained "heavy, heavy damage" and said the front walls were blown out and the roof collapsed. He was not sure if the two missing people are contractors or school staff.

"We're going to get through it", Minnehaha Academy President Donna M. Harris said at the vigil.

The detonation ripped Minnehaha's Upper School in half while children were in the school's upper campus.

Carlson, 81, attended the school as a child, sent his own children there, and was like a grandfather figure to students, school officials said.

- The school says Carlson was Minnehaha's "biggest cheerleader".

Within seconds of the powerful explosion, residents poured onto sidewalks and front lawns, stunned at the burning pile of rubble that moments before was a century old school.

Nine people were injured.

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John Barron, who lives across the street from the academy, told the station that the blast shook his windows and startled his dogs.

One of the injured was in critical condition at a local hospital.

The Minneapolis Fire Department initially said one person was killed. The Fire Department also confirmed that it had recovered two bodies in the wreckage, but it did not disclose their identities.

Seven hundred people packed the campus chapel for the emotional event, which featured hymn-singing, words of comfort, and many tears.

Earlier in the day, a woman's body was pulled from the rubble.

The hospital said Wednesday afternoon that it is treating four patients: one person in critical condition and three in satisfactory conditions.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Drayton said the state is in touch with local authorities and the state stands ready "to provide any and all resources necessary to aid first responders" and victims, according to WCCO.

A natural gas explosion at a school in the USA has killed two people and left the building partially collapsed.

MINNEAPOLIS-Multiple people are trapped after an explosion and collapse at the Minnehaha Academy Upper School in Minneapolis. Contractors were reportedly working on the building at the time of the explosion.

The Star Tribune reported that city records show Master Mechanical Inc. was issued a permit on June 7 for "gas piping and hooking up meter" at the school's address. One witness said two men yelled "gas" shortly before the blast.

Sara Jacobson was among several members of the Minnehaha Academy staff was inside the building.

"We were relieved", said Jim Miner, chief of emergency services at HCMC.

"Right now we are searching for three unaccounted for persons who may or may not be under the rubble", Tyner said.



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