— ABC News (@ABC) August 2, 2017
An apparent natural gas leak caused an explosion and partial building collapse at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis Wednesday. So far, multiple people are unaccounted for and five people have been taken to nearby hospitals, according to officials.
The explosion occurred in the high school building of the private K-12 school. Fire crews are actively searching for the remaining unaccounted for people while also attempting to extinguish the fire as its feed by the ruptured gas line. The Minneapolis Fire Department initially reported one fatality in the incident, but later said that wasn’t confirmed.
One witness experienced the explosion from inside the school, according to ABC News. A man said he was in the school counselor’s office with his wife and daughter when they were told to evacuate the building because of a gas smell:
His daughter got up to start exiting through the hallway, and “just seconds after that” was “a huge explosion,” he told KSTP.
“It was a large, huge, ‘boom,'” he told KSTP. “One of those movie scenes where you kind of start shaking and it knocks you off your feet. It was pretty intense.”
“Stuff started falling out of the ceiling. Kind of rocked my daughter and she fell back into the building,” he told KSTP. “From there, people were in panic. We heard a lot of screaming,” and the glass blew out in the office, he said.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has already promised any and all resources for emergency responders.