Two people missing after gas explosion at Minneapolis school

Minneapolis school explosion: Building collapses leaving people trapped in rubble

At least one dead after reported explosion at Minnesota school

There is also a south campus which houses grades pre-K through 8.

Meskan, a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy, said he ran as fast as he could to the school and helped rescue a man trapped in the rubble.

Fruetel says it's possible a void was created when the building collapsed.

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

They prayed over a tragedy they never could have dreamed; a nightmare that is now a reality for the Minnehaha Academy family. John Carlson was Minnehaha's biggest cheerleader, and a long-time presence in the school.

Sara Jacobson, executive director of institutional advancement at Minnehaha, says the explosion destroyed a section of classrooms for grades nine through 12.

The blast partially collapsed a building on the private school's campus.

Five people were hospitalized after the explosion, one of whom has been treated and released.

Ruth Berg, staff member who was killed, being described by everyone as caring, kind person.

"We still consider it a rescue at this point", Fruetel said, adding that crews did not know specifically where the missing person was when the building collapsed, but they have a "general area". "At this time, we are referring all questions about the event to the Minneapolis Fire Department out of respect for their continued efforts".

The Hennepin County Emergency Management confirms that natural gas from contracted construction caused the school explosion. Three others were unaccounted for and being actively searched for in the rubble and elsewhere. Gas is supplied by CenterPoint Energy.

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.

Authorities say there are early indications that a ruptured gas line may have led to the explosion and that it was caused by contractors working at the school.

The school was incorporated in 1905, and it welcomed its first class of high school students in 1913, according to the school's website.

He said the two missing adults might actually not be inside the building. All the teachers and students who were present for summer programs were saved.

It is a ministry of the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, and is located in the Cooper and Hiawatha neighborhoods on West River Parkway.

Minnehaha Academy told its families that the gas leak and explosion affected only its Upper Campus, in a statement on its Facebook page. Ryan Larsen, a financial officer with the company, told the Star Tribune: "We've got people on the site there". Meskan said he and a few other people found a man who was pinned.

The Minneapolis Fire Department initially confirmed a fatality, before backtracking. Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said.

Police had not confirmed the identity of the victim as of Wednesday night, but said both the victim and the missing person are staff members from Minnehaha Academy.

At this time, 3 people are unaccounted.

Latest News