MINNEAPOLIS (CBS News) — Two people remain unaccounted for after a gas leak caused building to explode and catch fire at Minnehaha Academy Wednesday morning, CBS Minneapolis reports.
One person who was previously missing was found uninjured, Bryan Tyner from the Minneapolis Fire Department said in a press conference several hours after the blast, which occurred just after 10:30 a.m. Five people were transported to the hospital, one of whom is in critical condition. One person was evaluated and released.
Three people were rescued from the top of the building, CBS Minneapolis reports. Emergency crews were going through the rubble by hand and more teams are coming in with bigger gear to lift heavy rubble.
The explosion was caused by a gas leak as contractors were doing work on the building, Tanner said.
Helicopter footage showed flames and wreckage in the middle section of the building. The fire was put out by early Wednesday afternoon.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said the state was in touch with local authorities to assist in the response. He said the state will “provide any and all resources necessary to aid first responders” and those affected by the blast.
The Minneapolis Fire Department previously said one fatality had been reported, but authorities have not confirmed the death.
Allison Schmitz, whose child attends Minnehaha, tells CBS Minnesota’s Mary McGuire that people were given 15 seconds to evacuate after a gas leak.
Jack Mahler was playing soccer nearby at the time of the explosion.
“We heard a man yell ‘gas’ and ‘get out’, and we saw one sprint down the street and one sprint into the building, kind of standing in the doorway, yelling it. About the time the man sprinting down the street got to the end down here there was a huge explosion,” Mahler said. “Smoke went up and knocked most of us back. It knocked me off my feet.”