2 dead, several injured in Minnesota school explosion

Minneapolis school explosion levels building

An apparent gas explosion and partial building collapse at a private school in Minneapolis on Wednesday has left two people dead and nine people injured, according to the local fire department.

In announcing the discovery at a Wednesday night news conference, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said that crews had suspended further operations at the scene until Thursday morning.

At the time the blast, as many as 10 students were playing basketball inside a gym at Minnehaha Academy but weren't near the explosion, said Sara Jacobson, the school's executive director of institutional advancement.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Minnehaha Academy identified the woman who died as school receptionist Ruth Berg.

School officials also announced that all summer program students "are accounted for and safe".

The blast pushed part of the building's wall outwards, causing the roof to collapse and pancaking two floors into rubble, according to fire chief John Fruetel. Nine others were also wounded in the blast, and three of those people were in critical condition after it.

Minneapolis issued a permit June 7 to Master Mechanical Inc. of Eagan for "gas piping and hooking up meter" at the address.

- Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse) August 2, 2017Carlson is known for handing out Dilly Bars at school.

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

Principal of the Upper School at Minnehaha Academy Jason Wenschlag tweeted: "Please pray for Minnehaha".

The Upper School serves grades 9-12, while the lower and middle school serves students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade.

"I mean, it was seconds after they told us to get out that the explosion happened".

"We just started digging", Meskan said. "We're going to do our best to locate everyone that's unaccounted for".

The school said 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.

Tuition fees at the Minnehaha Academy cost between $12,470 A year for kindergarteners and $21,280 for those in Grade 12.

"Berg was supposed to have been fitted for her wedding dress today".

There were ongoing fire suppression efforts at the school right after the explosion occurred. She told a Star Tribune reporter she saw the windows "just burst out".

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has already promised any and all resources for emergency responders.

"Knocked me off my feet, and I fell back", Mr. Mahler told WCCO-TV. "I could see sunlight all the way through to the other side".

When he turned 79, Carlson ran the school's 5K homecoming run, which struck many as appropriate.

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