HCMC doctors 'expected more victims' in Minnehaha Academy explosion

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Victims are recovering at Hennepin County Medical Center after an explosion at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis Wednesday morning. As of Thursday morning, one person is still in critical condition and two are in satisfactory condition. Seven others have been treated and released.

With six operating rooms staffed and ready to go, doctors said they actually expected more victims to arrive.

“All the patients have been triaged and admitted to the hospital for continuing care,” said Dr. Steve Miner, the HCMC Emergency Services Director.

Miner said the victims are all adults and while none of them were burned in the explosion, all suffered blast injuries.The hospital saw a total of 9 victims on Wednesday.

“A blast injury is blunt trauma,” he said. “It's a lot of force hitting a person at once…so, a lot of the victims were thrown several feet and injured from that impact." 

The Minnehaha Academy Assistant Athletic Director said the person in critical condition is Assistant Soccer Coach Bryan Duffy who was working as part of the grounds crew at the time.

"Of course our prayers are with them,” Miner said. “It's a horrible tragedy that has happened, and always such a difficult part of this for the staff and the people when you get through an event like this is sort of thinking about what happened afterwards…it's very hard on everyone." 

Upon word of the explosion, HCMC activated its mass-casualty protocol and within a matter of minutes, they had about 20 doctors in the ER waiting for patients to come in.

As of Wednesday night, two fatalities have been reported and identified as Minnehaha Academy receptionist Ruth Berg and custodian John Carlson.