INVESTIGATIVE: Permits Found for Gas Piping and Meter Hookups at Minnehaha Academy

August 02, 2017 10:25 PM

Hennepin County Emergency Management has confirmed Wednesday morning's explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis was "caused by natural gas from contracted construction being done on the building."

KSTP’s investigative team has looked into any gas-related permits at the school.

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Permits were pulled for gas piping and meter hookup there on June 7.

RELATED: 2 Still Unaccounted for, 5 Taken to Hospital after Gas Leak, Explosion at Minnehaha Academy 

Master Mechanical, the Eagan-based company that pulled those permits, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this tragedy and especially with the families and loved ones of those who have died or who have been injured," it read. "We are forever grateful to those first responders and bystanders who came to the aid of all of the injured, including our employees. 

"We continue to monitor the situation and are working in full cooperation with the Minneapolis Fire Department. At this time, we are referring all questions about the event to the Minneapolis Fire Department out of respect for their continued efforts."

RELATED: Minnehaha Academy: At a Glance

The company did have a truck in the parking lot of the school at the time of the explosion. Records show Master Mechanical also pulled permits for work at the school in 2003 and '04.

The Minnesota office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted one planned inspection of the company in 2014 which resulted in two citations - for hazard communication and failure to implement and develop employee right-to-know training program for employees routinely exposed to hazardous substances.

OSHA figures show those were the first (296) and third (276) most common citations issued respectively in Minnesota for the federal fiscal year 2016.

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