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."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 10.55.37 AM

Bespoke office space for changing times, courtesy of Redbrick Commercial Real Estate

Redbrick Commercial Real Estate specializes in innovative and sustainable office spaces.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

MN up to 45 counties with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission

Delta is leading to more cases – and more severe cases – involving children in other states.

Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 9.08.48 AM

University of St. Thomas latest to require vaccines for students, staff

The college had previously offered incentives to get vaccinated, but is now mandating them.

Pixabay - crowd park outdoors CROP

New forecast predicts more than 4 million Twin Cities residents by 2050

The Met Council believes job opportunities will also steadily grow.

Mike Zimmer

Zimmer on unvaccinated players: 'Some of the things they've read are just, woof, out there'

The coach says he's doesn't understand why some players won't get vaccinated.

Ramsey County - Karina Her booking photo crop 2

Charges: St. Paul woman killed ex-husband, buried him in her back yard

A woman is accused of fatally shooting her ex-husband and burying him in the yard.

Screen Shot 2021-08-02 at 8.02.46 AM

Riverview Cafe in south Minneapolis closes, plans to 'reassess' its future

The cafe and wine bar was open in the Longfellow neighborhood for 23 years.

Pixabay - camp food fire

Bear sightings prompt food storage mandate up north

Visitors to the forest and BWCAW will be required to 'properly' store their food.

covid, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, August 2

The delta variant has been leading to higher case counts and hospitalizations in Minnesota.

Bloomington Walmart

Customers reportedly flee after scare inside Bloomington Walmart

People ran believing it was gunshots, but police say it was actually fireworks.

Racket website screengrab aug 2

New alt news site from former City Pages editors launches this month

Racket will be supported through a reader subscription model.


Here's how things unfolded Wednesday at Minnehaha Academy

A natural gas explosion caused part of the school to collapse.

Video shows aftermath of the deadly Minnehaha Academy explosion

The explosion apparently happened when a gas meter was being moved.

Lawsuit blames gas line workers for deadly Minnehaha Academy explosion

The suit claims the workers ran to save themselves instead of warning people about the leak.

NTSB reveals probable cause of fatal gas explosion at Minnehaha Academy

Workers thought that a gas valve was closed, when it was actually open.

Photos from outside Minnehaha Academy Wednesday evening

Community members gathered to watch, taking in what happened.

A year since devastating explosion, a new start for Minnehaha Academy

The school held a ceremonial pillar raising on Thursday morning.

Loved ones share memories of the people killed in the Minnehaha Academy explosion

Loved ones are sharing their memories of Ruth Berg and John Carlson.