Explosion causes partial collapse of dorm at Nevada university
LAS VEGAS — A utilities explosion Friday at the University of Nevada, Reno caused the partial collapse of a dormitory building and at least minor injuries, authorities said.
Photos posted to social media showed extensive damage spanning multiple floors of the dormitory. Windows were blown out and debris appeared to have fallen on the street below.
Student Raven Green told The Associated Press she was in her room at Argenta Hall watching Netflix when she heard a loud boom and felt the building shake.
She thought it was an earthquake. When she opened her door, she could hardly see in the hallway that was full of smoke and debris, with water spraying everywhere.
“It was very scary,” she said.
Police and firefighters were working to evacuate students who were still in Argenta Hall and determine if the building was structurally sound, city spokesman Jon Humbert said.
He said there were no reports of any deaths and the only injuries initially reported were minor. He did not have any details on what caused the explosion.
Green said the dorms aren’t completely full this summer, but there were still lots of residents.
The 19-year-old said she had climbed over doors and pieces of drywall to reach the stairs but found the stairs broken. She raced back to her room to get out of the smoke and called 911 for help. She was later evacuated.
Sophomore Raymond Floyd was in his room across the street in Peavine Hall studying for a calculus final when he heard a loud noise. He initially dismissed it as someone slamming a door. Then the fire alarm went off.
About 10 minutes after his building was evacuated, there was a “much bigger and louder” explosion, he said.
“I could see smoke and shrapnel in the air and parts of the roof flying off,” Floyd said.
He headed to Argenta Hall, where he said it appeared the explosion had torn through laundry rooms on each floor.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a tweet that his office was aware of the situation and offering support.
Messages seeking more details from the university, Reno police and fire officials were not immediately returned. Campus police tweeted Friday afternoon that all classes on campus were canceled.