Two dead, others injured in Minnesota school gas explosion

Berg worked as a receptionist for the school for 17 years. She had planned on marrying in October.
By Ian Marsh | Aug 04, 2017
Two people have perished and nine were injured during a natural gas explosion Wednesday morning at the Minnehaha Academy, a private school in south Minneapolis.

Contractors who were working on the building ruptured a gas line, causing the explosion, CBS News reports.

School officials confirmed the deaths of two Minnehaha Academy staff members: John Carlson, 81, and Ruth Berg, 48.

Berg worked as a receptionist for the school for 17 years. She had planned on marrying in October.

"She welcomed everyone with a smile and was always willing to go the extra mile to help our students, families and staff," school officials said.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton was in contact with local authorities as emergency personnel responded to the morning's blast, a statement from his office said.

Jack Mahler, who was playing soccer nearby when the explosion occurred, described the chaos.

"We heard a man yell 'gas' and 'get out,' and we saw one sprint down the street and one sprint into the building, kind of standing in the doorway, yelling it," Mahler said. "About the time the man was sprinting down the street got to the end down here there was a huge explosion. Smoke went up and knocked most of us back. It knocked me off my feet."

Nine people many of whom suffered broken bones and head injuries from flying debris were taken to a local hospital. Brian Duffey, an assistant soccer coach at the academy, was in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon. Three of the injured are in satisfactory condition, and five were discharged from the hospital.

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