Second body pulled from the Minnehaha Academy rubble - Bring Me The News

Second body pulled from the Minnehaha Academy rubble

2 people were killed and 9 were injured by the natural gas explosion.

A secretary and a custodian were killed in a natural gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy. 

The explosion happened around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, causing two floors of the building to collapse into a subbasement in the center of the Upper School building. 

Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said people reported smelling gas and there were warnings to get out of the building prior to the explosion.

To read live updates following the explosion, click here

2 people killed

The body of a staff member was pulled from the rubble shortly before a 2:45 p.m. news conference. She's been identified by the school as Ruth Berg, a secretary who's worked with Minnehaha Academy for 17 years. 

Around 8 p.m., the body of 81-year-old John Carlson, who was unaccounted for after the blast, was pulled from the rubble. He was an alum of the school who, after retiring, returned to be a custodian, Minnehaha Academy said

Read about how Berg And Carlson's loved ones are remembering them here.

9 others injured

Nine other people – none of them students – were brought to the Hennepin County Medical Center following the explosion. 

As of 6 a.m. Thursday, the hospital said one person was still in critical condition. Two others were listed as satisfactory (that's one fewer than Wednesday afternoon.)

Minnehaha Academy said the explosion injured "administrative staff," but didn't elaborate on exactly who was among the injured. WCCO is reporting the victim listed in critical condition is the school's assistant soccer coach Bryan Duffey.

What caused the explosion?

Hennepin County Emergency Management confirmed the explosion was the result of a natural gas leak caused by construction that was being done on the building. 

Master Mechanical, the company doing work on the building, released a statement to KSTP

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the incident. We are monitoring the situation and at this time we are referring all questions about the event to the Minneapolis Fire Department out of respect for their investigation."

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