1 suspected dead after Minneapolis school building collapses, 3 more unaccounted for

A building explosion and collapse has been reported at Minnehaha Academy

A natural gas explosion on Wednesday (2 August) at Minnehaha Academy's upper school in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed one person, left one unaccounted for and injured at least nine others, including one critically.

"Being briefed regularly by Chief Fruetel and Acting Chief Arradondo regarding the gas explosion and building collapse at Minnehaha Academy", mayor Betsy Hodges tweeted shortly after news broke.

A second body was found in the rubble after a natural gas explosion took down a school building Wednesday in the midwestern US state of Minnesota, authorities said.

The school, Minnehaha Academy, says on Facebook that the one of those who died was a receptionist at the academy and the other was a custodian, whose body was recovered after a search into the evening. John Carlson, also a school employee, is the person who remains missing, a school spokesperson said.

Those on school property at the time of the explosion included staff and student basketball and soccer players and the girls' cross-country team.

Minnehaha Academy officials say the blast, fire and collapse Wednesday morning killed Ruth Berg, the school's receptionist for 17 years. Tyner confirmed that three people were rescued from the roof.

HCMC confirmed that the person in critical condition is Bryan Duffey.

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.




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

Dr. James Miner of Hennepin County Medical Center told reporters the patients had fractures and head injuries, but no burns.

"John Carlson was Minnehaha's biggest cheerleader and a longtime presence in the school", the academy wrote on Facebook.

Minnehaha Academy student Taytum Rhoades was one of those practicing in the gym when the building shook and lights went out. "We pray for his healing and for the wisdom of the doctors and nurses caring for him at this time", the school said in a statement. "We still consider it a rescue at this point; we don't really know we're going to do our best to locate everyone that's unaccounted for".

The pre-K through 12th grade Christian school has multiple buildings. Even though it is summer break, many students, teachers and coaches were at the school for sport programs, summer school and other activities.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said his office was in constant contact with the school. Another co-worker ran by saying, "get out, get out, there's a gas leak!"

"I could see inside a Spanish class". "Believe me when I say she loved you to bits and loved her work".

A nearby resident said the blast was "the loudest thing (I) ever heard in my entire life" and that the force knocked her cupboard doors open.

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