MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An explosion at a school in Minneapolis killed two people, injured several others and reduced part of a building to rubble, fire officials said.
City Fire Chief John Fruetel said the body of the second person killed in the blast was recovered around 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Minnehaha Academy, a private Christian school that serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grades. Fruetel said the medical examiner’s office was working to notify relatives.
The blast occurred in a utility area as students were playing soccer and basketball at school, according to fire and school officials.
Contractors were working on one of the campus’ buildings at the time of the blast, which investigators believe was caused by a natural gas explosion, said Assistant Minneapolis Fire Chief Bryan Tyner.
The explosion killed Ruth Berg, a receptionist for 17 years at the school who “welcomed everyone with a smile,” the school said in a statement.
John Carlson, a part-time janitor known for giving Dilly Bars to students, was reported missing. The 81-year-old attended the school as a child, sent his own children there, and was like a grandfather figure to students, school officials said.
At a news conference Wednesday night, Fruetel did not specify whether Carlson’s body was the one located. He added that crews would return Thursday morning to continue going through the debris.
Four people remained hospitalized late Wednesday, including one in critical condition, at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, according to the hospital….
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