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Explosion near Coal Ben closes building


BenU employees work on the Power House Tuesday night after a possible boiler explosion that slightly damaged the Coal Ben.

Photo by: Tatanisha Wooley. BenU employees work on the Power House Tuesday night after a possible boiler explosion that slightly damaged the Coal Ben.

By:Therese Porod, Claire Kositzky, Sara Haque & Karly Sacco

An explosion occurred near the Coal Ben Tuesday night, due to possible issues with boilers in the adjacent Power House building. According to an email sent by Chief of Police, Michael Salatino, there were no injuries, with smoke and dust filling the building. With broken windows, Coal Ben will be closed until further notice.

“The explosion was around the beginning of missed meals so there were a lot of students inside,” said Elizabeth Lira, a student worker at Coal Ben. “It seemed to be a pretty typical busy night at Coal Ben. All of a sudden there was a loud boom and the floor shook. Some of the bricks actually crumbled off and fell to the floor.”

“Everyone got quiet and looked around because it sounded like it was so close. My manager heard it in the kitchen and came out to look, but everything seemed fine so we all continued to work. About 5 minutes later a police officer from BenU came inside and told us one of the lower windows by the boiler room was broken. Then we were told we all had to evacuate right away,” said Lira.

Students that were near by the explosion heard the noise and came to the scene to see what happened.

“When it happened I heard it in my apartment in Becker, and was startled from the sound but wasn’t sure what it was until I tried to go there to eat. It was unexpected but I’m glad no one was hurt,” said junior Nora O’Malley.

“We walked there at like 6:50 p.m. and I saw student employees being interviewed by (a BenU police officer) in BenUnion and there were fire trucks everywhere,” said junior Katie Miller.

The Coal Ben will remain closed throughout the morning of Thursday, September 4th until further notice, according to an email sent by Marco Masini, Vice President for Student Life.