8 Injured After 2 Blasts Rock College Dorm

Dormitory partially collapses after pair of explosions at University of Nevada, Reno
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2019 7:30 AM CDT
8 Injured After 2 Blasts Rock College Dorm
Rescue personnel respond to an explosion that damaged Argenta Hall and Nye Hall on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, on Friday in Reno, Nev.   (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)

Classes were canceled Friday at the Reno campus of the University of Nevada after a pair of back-to-back blasts injured eight and left a dorm partially collapsed. Fox News reports that authorities are eyeing a mechanical failure inside Argenta Hall as a possible cause of the explosions, with some of the dorm's residents telling the Reno Gazette Journal that they were told a boiler in the basement had blown up. In a statement, the university noted that the first blast took place around 1 p.m., soon followed by a second, larger explosion. "It was very scary," 19-year-old dorm resident Raven Green tells the AP, noting she was in her room watching Netflix when she heard a boom and felt the building tremble. Green says she had to climb over debris to get to the dorm's stairwell, which turned out to be blocked; she was eventually evacuated after going back to her room and calling 911.

Reno's fire operations chief, Steve Leighton, says six of the injured were treated at the scene and released, while two others had to be hospitalized, though the university says their injuries were also minor. The university notes that neighboring Nye Hall also suffered "significant damage." It's not clear yet when either dorm will reopen. "The buildings are being checked floor by floor by fire and emergency crews for structural damage," the school says. Meanwhile, officials are grateful things weren't worse, with the dorm housing only a few people over the summer. "We are confident—and lucky—that today, with a light day coming after a holiday … we really didn't have anybody in those halls," the UNR Police Services chief tells the Gazette Journal. (Read more explosion stories.)

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