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Two dead in school blast

04 August 2017, 12:38 | Myrtle Vega

Firefighters at the scene of an apparent explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis Wednesday Aug. 2 2017. Courtesy of KARE 11

Firefighters at the scene of an apparent explosion

The private Christian school serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel says he's hopeful Carlson is alive. Our focus at this time is making the area safe.

Officials at a private school in Minneapolis have identified the employee who was killed in a natural gas explosion on campus, as well as a second worker who remains missing.

Day said the Minnehaha Academy community is very tight knit - and obviously concerned about who may still be inside.

'John Carlson was Minnehaha's biggest cheerleader and a long-time presence in the school.

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 building.

"Along with the blast taking out a significant chunk of the building, walls still standing had their window frames popped out". One person was evaluated and released.

The fire dept. says the person killed and the person unaccounted for are staff members. The company said it was working with fire investigators. Seven people were admitted to the hospital. Rescuers recovered their bodies from the rubble hours after the explosion.

All parts of the school that hadn't collapsed were inspected and cleared, Tyner said.

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.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement that his office is in constant contact with the school.

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A section of Minnehaha Academy collapsed after an explosion Wednesday morning.

The Hennepin County Emergency Management confirms that natural gas from contracted construction caused the school explosion.

"Various agencies will be on site this morning to pinpoint exactly how this happened", the fire department's assistant chief, Bryan Tyner, said on Thursday.

It appeared that no children were hurt in the incident and that all students and other staff members were eventually "accounted for and safe", officials said.

According to city records, Minneapolis issued a permit for Master Mechanical, Inc., to work on the building, CBS Minneapolis reports. He graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 1953 and sent his own kids there before returning himself after retirement.

"It would have been dramatically worse. we were pretty lucky in that sense", he said.

Three people were initially reported as missing but one person was found around noon, uninjured.

Firefighters distinguished a blaze and were looking in the collapsed part of the building for people who might have been trapped, he said.

The school's campuses reopen on August 23. Three people were rescued from the school's roof, the Associated Press reported.

They exited the building out a back door, and that's when he said he saw how severe it was.

She and several other neighbors praised the rapid response of fire and police crews. The conditions of those transported were not immediately known.



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