Two killed, nine injured in explosion at Minneapolis private school

Posted August 04, 2017

A natural-gas explosion caused a Minneapolis school to partially collapse Wednesday morning - leaving one person dead, another missing and several injured, according to officials.

- The Minnehaha Academy community is praying for the healing of assistant soccer coach Bryan Duffey, who remained in critical condition Thursday morning following Wednesday's gas explosion and building collapse.

Noon: Minneapolis Fire officials say they are still working to identify who the missing people are and whether or not they were in the building at the time of the explosion.

She said a cloud of smoke and debris made it impossible to see what happened, but she saw young people on the athletic field to the west of the building running in the opposite direction. "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".

Minnehaha Academy is a private Christian school for students in prekindergarten through grade 12. She was in the school at the time of the explosion. "And [we] got him out, and they got him on a stretcher".

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

The fire department says both individuals worked at the school. "She welcomed everyone with a smile and was always willing to go the extra mile to help our students, families, and staff", the school said.

As school workers, students and neighbors gathered by the tennis courts in the northwest corner of campus, some Taher employees waited with tears in their eyes to learn the fate of co-workers.

Hours after the explosion, officials told KMSP Fox 9 that contractors working on the building had ruptured a gas line near the boiler room.

Hundreds of people packed a campus chapel to pray and comfort each other at the Minneapolis school where two people were killed and more than a-half dozen others were hurt in an explosion and partial building collapse.

The Star Tribune reports that city records show Master Mechanical was issued a permit for "gas piping and hooking up meter" at the school's address. Ryan Larsen, a company official, released a statement saying the company was monitoring the situation and referred all questions to the Minneapolis Fire Department.

The academy announced on Facebook Wednesday night that the second person killed was John Carlson, who had graduated from the school in 1953 and returned to work there after his retirement.

One person, also a school employee, was still missing.

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

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

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

Minnehaha Academy President Donna Harris survived the explosion.