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Gas Explosion Guts a Kentucky University Dorm Building

by Phil McCausland /
Exterior view of aftermath at MSU on June 28, 2017 in Murray, Kentucky.
Exterior view of aftermath at MSU on June 28, 2017 in Murray, Kentucky.Bill Call / Calloway County Emergency Management

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A gas leak at a Kentucky university dormitory caused a massive explosion Wednesday afternoon that gutted the building and injured at least one person.

Murray State University’s new Richmond Residential College, which opened in 2009, had the natural gas leak before 5 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET), according to Calloway County Emergency Management Director William Call.

One Murray State employee who was in the building at the time was injured, and a large portion of the building was destroyed, Call said. The building was not full of students because of the summer break. The extent of the victim's injuries was not immediately known.

“They were injured and taken to hospital for treatment," said Call."One other person had a minor injury and was treated on the scene.”

Image: MSU Gas Explosion
Murray State University explosion aftermath.WPSD / NBC News

Murray State University officials acknowledged the explosion at 5:23 p.m. and warned everyone to stay out of the area. Off-campus visitors were relocated.

Kentucky State Police and other local emergency agencies responded to the call.

Some workers had been in the residential college earlier in the day to paint the walls and do some other maintenance work. They had left for the day when the explosion occurred, Call told NBC News.

The explosion was so powerful that it did some damage to surrounding buildings and shattered some of their windows, officials said. Western Kentucky NBC affiliate WPSD reported that vibrations from the explosion could be felt off campus.

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