Thursday, 17 August, 2017

Hundreds gather to remember victims of Minneapolis school explosion

Courtesy KSTP  Chopper 5 Courtesy KSTP Chopper 5
Lamar Ellis | 04 August, 2017, 02:04

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.

"I'm not ready to call it a recovery yet", Fruetel told reporters at a 4:30 p.m press conference.

Minnehaha Academy said in a statement on Facebook that it had lost two staff members in the incident, John Carlson and receptionist Ruth Berg.

One other person, 82-year-old school janitor John Carlson, is still missing after Wednesday morning's blast.

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

Hours after the explosion, officials told KMSP Fox 9 that contractors working on the building had ruptured a gas line near the boiler room. He says crews are searching for others who might be trapped in the rubble, including three people who are unaccounted for. The school didn't immediately return a message seeking comment following Fruetel's news conference. Dr. Jim Miner, the hospital's chief of emergency medicine, said victims suffered injuries ranging from head injuries and broken bones to cuts from debris.

AP writes that school official Sara Jacobson says Carlson graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 1953, and that the school is hoping for a miracle.

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

Minnehaha Academy is a Christian college prep school and serves more than 800 students in preschool through 12th grade. "Our coach. told us to run, so we all started running toward the exit", said Rhoades, a resident of St. Paul's Macalester-Groveland neighborhood entering her junior year.

"As soon as they said, 'Hey, we smell gas, we gotta get out, ' it exploded". "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".

"All the windows in the office blew out, rubble from the ceiling came tumbling down", he said.

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

Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement saying his office was in continuous contact with Minneapolis officials.

"From what I have been able to gather and from what people have been telling me.it was just seconds between 'Gas leak".

Berg had her entire life ahead of her, including a wedding in the fall.

The fire department says both individuals worked at the school. Burrington said he talked to her on the phone about having lunch, then heard the blast at the school just down the street from his home.

The explosion only affected the upper school, officials said; the lower school is several miles away and is undamaged.

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