Two people are dead and nine are injured after a natural gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis this morning,  A mechanical crew from Master Mechanical Inc. of Eagan was performing work on the school’s boiler when, at around 10:30, something went wrong.  A strong smell of gas overwhelmed the area, a member of the school’s maintenance staff alerted those inside of the danger, yelling “Gas, get out!” and 15 seconds later an explosion destroyed a two-story section of the center of the building.

The two people who died were beloved, long-time members of the school staff. Neighbors who heard the blast ran toward the smoking, flaming section of the building and worked together with members of the Master Mechanical crew to free one man who was pinned beneath a section of a wall that had collapsed. He was one of nine people who were transported to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) where a trauma team was waiting in the ambulance bay to receive victims of the blast. Three people are in critical condition.

The two-story section of the building destroyed in the blast housed classrooms including a new Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) lab.  The school year has not yet begun at the private, Christian school located in the 3100 block of West River Parkway in Minneapolis but some faculty, staff, students were on site. A coach conducting a girls basketball camp in the gym with five students ages 15-17 told Channel 4 News that they heard a loud boom, then the lights went out and the ceiling started to collapse. Members of the boys’ soccer team participating in a captain’s practice on the field behind the school said they felt the ground rumble and some were knocked off of their feet.

Minneapolis Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said all of the sections of the building that are still standing have been checked and cleared and that the fire that followed the explosion has been extinguished.  Rescue crews are carefully picking their way through the rubble and assessing which areas may benefit from the help of heavy equipment.

Attorney Eric Hageman, who represents clients who have been injured in fires and explosions, says explosion injuries cover a wide spectrum that includes pressure injuries from the blast wave, brain injury, thermal burns, crush injuries from falling debris and blunt force trauma from flying debris. An HCMC official told the Star Tribune that of the nine people who were injured, three are in critical condition, four in serious condition and two suffered minor injuries. The injuries include head wounds, fractures, and lacerations.

Eric Hageman is one of several noted explosion attorneys at Pritzker Hageman, a Minneapolis law firm that, in the last two years alone, has won over $50 million for clients injured in explosions. To contact Eric for a free consultation about an explosion injury, call 1(888) 377-8900 (toll-free) or use this free online consultation form. There is no obligation.