NTSB interviews contractor working during Minnehaha Academy explosion

Image 1 of 2

The NTSB investigation of the Minnehaha Academy Upper School is still in its early stages, as the area is still unsafe to walk through, according to officials.

On Friday, investigators viewed the scene from a ladder truck so they could plan where to look once more debris is moved and the site becomes more secure.

The NTSB also reached out to a father-son team from Master Mechanical, the company in charge of moving the gas meter at the time of the explosion. So far, they have interviewed the father and hope to speak with the son in the coming days.

At the site of the blast, a backhoe sits exactly where the school's boiler room used to be. The contractor’s sat parked where it was last left on Wednesday. What appeared to be a gas meter sat out on the pavement.

“They're extremely careful as they should be and extremely thorough as they should be,” said Governor Mark Dayton during a press conference Friday morning. “Their timetable to come to a conclusion on this is entirely their prerogative and we'll have to wait for that determination.”

Meantime, ten blocks south at Minnehaha Academy's lower campus, school leaders held a mandatory counseling session for anyone who was in the building or on the grounds at the time.

“They all had everyone who witnessed it, they had it in a big group and talked about the blast, what happens when you get hit by a shockwave and what happens to your head when an explosion happens,” said Nate Sundeen, an incoming freshman. “They also gave out some psychological information. It was really just a group thing, more factual and medical stuff about what happened and next week they're going to do one-on-ones for the psychological aspect of it.”

The NTSB had originally planned to investigate on-site at the school for about five to seven days, but that will take longer as they wait to access the site.