undergroundnewsroom.com April 21, 2018

Gas explosion in school kills two people in Minnesota

04 August 2017, 12:35 | Damon Campbell

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Minnehaha Academy is a private Christian school for students in prekindergarten through grade 12.

"We are monitoring the situation and at this time we are referring all questions about the event to the Minneapolis Fire Department out of respect for their investigation".

Dr. Jim Miner, the hospital's chief of emergency services, described the injuries as fractures, cuts and head wounds.

A natural gas explosion at Minnesota school caused extensive damage Wednesday morning to Minnehaha Academy's upper school, where sports teams and camps were practicing and others were meeting. "She welcomed everyone with a smile and was always willing to go the extra mile to help our students, families, and staff", the school said.

The agency's team, whose overall responsibilities include investigating transportation and pipeline accidents, said it planned to brief the news media Thursday afternoon.

UPDATE - The Minneapolis Fire Department confirmed through Facebook that one person has been found uninjured following an explosion at Minnehaha Academy.

"All of our Summer Program students and staff are accounted for and safe". Tyner said three people were rescued from the roof of the building shortly after the explosion. He said that rubble is being combed for the pair but they could also be "walking around out here". "I've enjoyed it", Carlson told the publication of his decision to take the job. "Our hopes are that they are not in there".

"I saw that where the building used to be one continuous building, (it) now had a gap", he said.

A local hospital said nine people were hospitalized, with three in critical condition, four in serious condition and two suffering minor trauma. "We were relieved, we were prepared for a lot more injuries". Still, he added, "It was a awful tragedy".

Emergency workers respond to an explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

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Tyner declined to say if those people were school employees or part of the construction crew, which he said was doing boiler work. It's not clear why they were on the roof.

Statement from Master Mechanical, the contractors working at #minnehahaacademy when gas line was hit.

- While en route, police officers were notified there was also a building collapse with people trapped.

Minnesota OSHA spokeswoman Jenny O'Brien said neither were "huge penalties". School officials later confirmed that Berg, who has an adult daughter, had died in the tragedy. One man, he said, opened a door and yelled, "Gas!" "We do have two people who are unaccounted for".

Three individuals on the top of the school required help getting down, authorities said. She was unharmed, he said.

About a dozen students were in the upper school's gym at the time, but all are OK, according to Sara Jacobson, executive director of institutional advancement at the school.

"I knew something bad had happened", she said.

The explosion was thought to have taken place among one of the older parts of the building, neighbors and one student reported. The few students on campus were knocked off their feet as windows shattered and multiple floors crumbled.

Dustin Doepke said he attended Minneapolis South High School with Berg, and for the past 15 years she had been his client at an Edina salon. "That's the stairwell that connects the entire school to everything". The Upper School is home to grades 9 through 12. "You felt it in your chest", a resident was quoted saying.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Twitter its agents, fire investigators and trained canines were at the site of the explosion.

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