TIMELINE: Explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis

August 01, 2018 10:39 AM

A section of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis collapsed following an explosion Wednesday morning.

Hennepin County Emergency Management confirmed the explosion was "caused by natural gas from contracted construction being done on the building."


Here is a timeline of what happened Wednesday:

10:20 a.m.: First responders are called to the scene of a building collapse.

10:45 a.m.: KSTP learns of an apparent explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis and that a section of the building had collapsed.

10:46 a.m.: The Minneapolis Fire Department reports crews are responding to a technical rescue and a structure fire at the 3100 block of West River Parkway, where the school is located. A possible natural gas explosion is reported.

10:48 a.m.: The Minneapolis Fire Department reports one fatality. It retracts the tweet, saying that fatality was not confirmed, at 11:04 a.m.

10:49 a.m.: Chopper 5 captures video of the scene of the explosion.

RAW VIDEO: Minneahaha Academy Explosion

10:49 a.m.: Minnehaha Academy releases a statement saying "there was a gas leak and explosion at the Upper School."

10:59 a.m.: Mulitple people are reportedly trapped as rescuers work to free them.

11:07 a.m.: The St. Paul Fire Department reports sending medics to the scene for assistance.

11:24 a.m.: Bryan Tyner, assistant chief of administration for the Minneapolis Fire Department, says the explosion was believed to be the result of a suspected ruptured gas line, which then caught on fire.

He also said three people were rescued from the roof and three are unaccounted for. Five people were taken to the hospital; one person was evaluated and released.

11:31 a.m.: A Minnehaha Academy student tells KSTP the explosion "shook all my insides."

11:51 a.m.: Records reviewed by KSTP show permits were authorized for gas piping and meter hookup at the school on June 2. The Eagan-based company that pulled those permits said it did not want to comment at this time because officials were still assessing the situation.

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

12 p.m.: Tyner reports one of the three people unaccounted for was found uninjured; authorities continue search for two unaccounted for people.

Of the four people who remained in the hospital, Tyner said one was in critical condition.

12:40 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy issues another statement, saying all summer program students and staff have been accounted for.

12:53 p.m.: Hennepin County Emergency Management confirms the explosion was "caused by natural gas from contracted construction being done on the building."

1:04 p.m.: Jim Miner, an emergency medicine physician at Hennepin County Medical Center, states nine people were hospitalized as a result of the incident; two were released, three are in critical condition, and four are in serious condition.

3 p.m.: At a press conference, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel confirms one victim was "recently" pulled from the rubble and was pronounced dead. He said "rescue efforts" continued to look for the second person, who is a construction worker. Family confirmed the person killed was Ruth Berg, who works for the school as a business office assistant.

7 p.m.: The Minnehaha Academy community held a prayer vigil at the school's lower campus.

8 p.m.: The Minneapolis Fire Department locates the body of the last person who was unaccounted for at Minnehaha Academy.


Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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