Two employees die in private school gas explosion in Minneapolis

A building explosion and collapse has been reported at Minnehaha Academy

In announcing the discovery at a Wednesday night news conference, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said that crews had suspended further operations at the scene until Thursday morning.

A second body was found in the rubble after a natural gas explosion took down a school building Wednesday in the midwestern USA state of Minnesota, authorities said.

In separate statements, Minnehaha Academy identified the victims who were killed in the gas explosion as receptionist Ruth Berg and staff member John Carlson.

Those on school property at the time of the explosion included staff and student basketball and soccer players and the girls' cross-country team.

Authorities said early indications are the blast was caused by a ruptured gas line. Tyner confirmed that three people were rescued from the roof.

The blast also left nine others injured, including one who remains hospitalized in critical condition.

According to city records, Minneapolis issued a permit for Master Mechanical, Inc., to work on the building, CBS Minneapolis reports.

A story in the school newspaper featured Carlson, who was known to hand out Dilly bars to students and always greeting them in the hallways.

Their blast-related injuries ranged from head trauma and broken bones to cuts and scrapes.

Jacobson, the school spokeswoman, said Carlson graduated with the Minnehaha Academy class of 1953 and went to Sunday school there.

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Principal of the Upper School at Minnehaha Academy Jason Wenschlag tweeted: "Please pray for Minnehaha".

Family members told local news channel KARE that John Carlson, an 81-year-old custodian, was still missing and that no one had been able to reach him.

"We just started digging", Meskan said. "Fire was going. And it's like, 'We're not going back until we get this guy out of here.' And we got him out, and they got him on a stretcher". She was in the school at the time of the explosion. The institution spans two campuses: a south campus with grades pre-K through 8th grade and a north campus with grades 9-12.

"All the windows just burst out", she said.

"Berg was supposed to have been fitted for her wedding dress today".

Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement that his office "is in continuous contact with the city of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, as emergency personnel respond to this emergency". Even though it is summer break, many students, teachers and coaches were at the school for sport programs, summer school and other activities.

Fire teams were hunting down conceivable casualties in the flotsam and jetsam at the tuition based school, authorities said.

"I was sitting reading the paper and just a huge blast!"

"Ruth. I know our career paths took us in different directions and I did not get see you as much as I would have liked".

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