MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - In the wake of tragedy, Minnehaha Academy President Donna Harris is who students and staff look to for leadership. But Harris is also a victim of Thursday's tragic blast.
Harris was in her office when the deadly explosion happened. She and two others had to escape to the roof, where firefighters later rescued them.
She is now in a wheelchair because of two sprained ankles and some cuts and bruises.
Harris met with Fox 9’s Randy Meier to recount the terrifying moments.
Donna Harris: It was absolutely horrible. Surreal. It felt like, sounded like, a bomb had been dropped and debris was falling everywhere in my office. I remember falling to my knee and somehow my shoes were no longer on my feet and we were, all three of us, were beginning to cough because the debris was getting into our throats.
Randy Meier: Once you got up there, and you realized the magnitude of what had happened, what was your thought? I mean, how do you process that?
DH: I just think, we’re in shock, initially and I kept saying, “This didn’t happen. I can’t believe it.”
RM: If you could, I know it’s difficult, but reflect collectively on both Ruth and John and the loss of them and what that means to this school.
DH: (Long pause) In a time when sometimes kindness and care and love seem to not be as prevalent, those two individuals were examples of that every single day.
RM: Have you thought about what you want to say to students? You’re three weeks away from what would have been the start of the school year. A lot of students, parents, teachers will see this interview. What do you say to them a day after such a terrible tragedy like this?
DH: We know that their strength is going to get us through. We’re stronger because of them and so I would say to them be strong with us, trust the God that we serve and we’re going to get through it.