Minneapolis school building collapses: 3 unaccounted for

(CNN) — Three people were unaccounted for Wednesday after an apparent natural gas explosion shook Minnehaha Academy and collapsed part of a building, officials in Minneapolis said.

Fire crews were searching for possible victims in the debris at the private school, officials said.

Police said five people were taken to hospitals and one was evaluated and released. Three people on the roof needed assistance getting down, police said.

The Minneapolis Fire Department initially said one person was killed. But it later tweeted the death was not confirmed.

Authorities said early indications are the blast was caused by a ruptured gas line.

The Christian school said there was a gas leak and explosion at its multistory Upper School, which houses grades 9-12. The academy has about 825 students in grades Pre-K through 12 housed on two campuses. The 2017-18 school year is set to begin August 23.

Video broadcast by CNN affiliate WCCO showed smoke and flames rising from the debris.

John Barron, who lives across the street from the academy, told WCCO that the blast shook his windows and startled his dogs.

“I saw that where the building used to be one continuous building, (it) now had a gap,” he said. “I could see sunlight all the way through to the other side.”

Gov. Mark Dayton pledged resources for first responders. “I thank the many firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement officers who rushed to the scene this morning, and who are working still to ensure the safety of our children, adults, friends, and neighbors,” he said in a statement.

Developing story – more to come

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