1 school facilities worker critical after blast

Minneapolis school explosion levels building

Police reported five people were transported to an area hospital and three others remained unaccounted for.

Minnehaha Academy is a private, Christian school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grades. "Believe me when I say she loved you to bits and loved her work". No other details were immediately released.

Less than 10 hours after an explosion and collapse happened at Minnehaha Academy's Upper School, it was standing room only inside the academy's chapel on its south campus.

School officials said in a Facebook post that Ms Berg had worked there for 17 years.

After they ran outside to safety, Van Leer said he looked back and, "Wow, the whole section of the school is gone".

"I'm not confident that they are in there", he told the Star Tribune. She said when firefighters arrived, all were able to be safely evacuated from the roof.

Fruetel said the investigation into the cause of the blast, which was preceded by the announcement of a gas leak, was continuing.

Ruth Berg, a 47-year-old business assistant at Minnehaha Academy and engaged mother, was identified as the victim who died in an explosion that demolished part of the school building in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Jeff Wagner, a WCCO reporter, tweeted that numerous mourners donned Minnehaha Academy clothes and colors as they bowed their heads in prayer and joined hands in song.

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- Fruetel said the center of the building is likely where the gas leak originated and the subsequent collapse occurred. Weiss says the NTSB is investigating because it has jurisdiction over gas pipelines.

Fire officials said the blast was triggered by contractors working on the building.

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said two bodies were pulled from the rubble on Wednesday. HCMC tweeted at 4 p.m. that the facility was treating four people - one in critical and three in satisfactory condition. Some students in the academy's summer program were on campus at the time of the explosion, but none of them were hurt.

"It had to be a significant explosion that would take out that brick and cause the building to collapse", Tyner said in a media update at the scene.

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

"I would envision it would have been significantly more huge in the event that it was (amid) educational time", Tyner said.

Master Mechanical Inc. was issued a permit on June 7 for "gas piping and hooking up meter" at the location, the paper reported, citing city records.

Carlson wasn't supposed to start his shift until Wednesday afternoon, after the explosion, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

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.

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