An explosion at Murray State University in Kentucky on Wednesday, June 28, at 4:53 p.m. has destroyed part of a dormitory building and sent one person to the hospital.
Dakota Fields, 26, is being treated at Vanderbilt Medical Center for his injuries. Kentucky State Police reported on Thursday that the residential director is in stable condition. Another person was also injured but was treated on the scene and released.
Officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion that took place at New Richmond Hall, but believe it to be the result of a gas leak.
Calloway County Emergency Management Director Bill Call told Kentucky’s WKYT-TV that the first floor of the building is ‘gutted’ and that the second floor has also sustained damage.
There were no students in the dorm at the time of the blast and those attending the Governor’s Scholars Program, the Commonwealth Honors Society and the Adventures in Math and Science have been relocated. In addition to these participants, all other students on campus for summer courses have been accounted for.
All campus activities continued with their usual schedule, though roads near the school were closed, for cautionary measures. It is not believed that this will affect the fall semester, which begins August 15.
University President, Dr. Robert Davies released a press release Thursday thanking responders and faculty and staff for their support.
“The incident at New Richmond is devastating in many ways as it makes us aware of the fragility of many things in our lives,” Davies said in his statement. “At the same time, based on the response of many, the work of our team, the joining together to ensure safety and security demonstrates too the power of our Racer community.”