7 Hurt in Explosion at Suburban NYC College

Authorities say no injuries were life-threatening; gas leak detected

 

 
 
 

Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press | | Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Updated 3:07 PST June 4, 2013

NYACK, N.Y. (AP) — A presumed natural gas explosion in a college building Tuesday blew out windows, sent a door sailing through the air and injured seven people, but authorities said none of the injuries was life-threatening.

After the blast, gas rose to "explosive" levels — as high as 70 percent — in the manholes at Nyack College outside New York City, said Mike Donohue of Orange & Rockland Utilities. He said natural gas was assumed to be the cause of the explosion, which happened shortly before noon and caused serious damage to the basement and first floor.

A female student and six employees were taken to the hospital. The school sent out a tweet saying that "Everyone is doing ok."

The explosion also started a fire that was put out by sprinklers, said Gordon Wren, director of Rockland County Emergency Services.

Donohue said the gas was turned off and the detected levels of it subsequently fell. Utility workers were trying to find the source of the leak to find out whether it was in the basement or in the lines leading to the building, he said.

The building, known as the Sky Island Lodge, is both an administrative and classroom building for the Christian college, which is about 25 miles north of New York City.

The school's graduation ceremonies had already been held, and summer classes hadn't started, said David Jennings, executive vice president.

"Thankfully, we were out of session," he said. He said the student had been there to take a test.

South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian said, "Had it been last month, that would have been a real problem."

She said that soon after the explosion, "the gas smell was horrendous."

The college is near Nyack Middle School, where students were kept inside as a precaution, and later taken to Nyack High School, Christian said.

"It sounded like a boom," said Gail Fleur, communications director for Nyack Public Schools, who heard the explosion from the administration building about a block away. "It sounded like we were having some roof work done. We thought somebody dropped something on the roof."

Graduate student Piero Gorriti, 23, was in a different building when he heard the explosion, which the Lima, Peru, native likened to the sound of a bombing.

FBI spokesman Jim Margolin said there was nothing suspicious about the explosion. Orange & Rockland and the county sheriff's office were both investigating.

___

Associated Press writers Meghan Barr and Tom Hays in New York City contributed to this report.

 



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >