Explosion rocks Minneapolis school, causes partial collapse

AP writes that school official Sara Jacobson says Carlson graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 1953, and that the school is hoping for a miracle. It destroyed the main stairwell and a group of classrooms for Years 9-12.

The Minneapolis Fire Department initially tweeted that one fatality was reported in the collapse at Minnehaha Academy. He said most of those being treated were adults.

Here's some of what they said.

Charlie Peterson was actually interviewing for a job at the school - then ended up being one of three people rescued from the school's roof. Police said five people were taken to hospitals and one was evaluated and released.

One person previously unaccounted for had been found safe and not at the site. "We were prepared for a lot more injuries. It was a bad tragedy".

Minnehaha Academy President Donna Harris survived the explosion.

The school's assistant boys' soccer coach, Bryan Duffey, was among those hospitalized, originally listed as being in critical condition.

The cause of the explosion is believed to be a gas leak. Part of the brick building collapsed after the explosion, authorities said.

Gas is supplied by CenterPoint Energy. "At this time, we are referring all questions about the event to the Minneapolis Fire Department out of respect for their continued efforts".

The Star Tribune reported that city records showed Master Mechanical was issued a permit on June 7 for "gas piping and hooking up meter" at the school's address.

The search was conducted beneath at least two floors of debris in an attempt to locate the body, the family members of whom are being contacted by the medical examiner's office.

Minnesota OSHA spokeswoman Jenny O'Brien said neither were "huge penalties". The academy's lower school was unaffected.

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

Students were on the campus for various sports practices when the explosion happened.

Day said that as they left a conference room, his daughter was blown back through the door by the force of the blast and his wife was scraped. She said the explosion was instantaneous with their warning to evacuate.

She was reportedly planning to get married in October.

"There was a very loud explosion, and ceiling tiles and windows and materials rained down on our heads", she said.

"When we got outside and saw everything, we were all so relieved and happy that we made it out", Rhoades said.

They were able to dig out one man - somewhat conscious and appearing in shock - and heard from two others that a woman was deeper inside.

First responders said it looked like a "great big hole" in the building where the collapse occurred, with flames shooting from one side of the building.

"That is where everybody would've been during the school year", he said.

  • Jacqueline Ellis