I have been watching this story for a week now, waiting for more news on the cause of the blast. A fiery explosion tore through an apartment building and mosque where Somali Muslims lived and prayed, leaving three dead and many injured. And while St. Paul Fire Department Investigator Jamie Novak is now saying that the "blast has similar characteristics to a natural gas explosion," all news reports, from the very first, reported that energy officials said that there were "no gas odors or leaks were detected on CenterPoint's distribution system in the area." And Becca Virden, a spokeswoman for CenterPoint Energy, said that there were no natural gas leaks in the system and that the utility received no reports of a suspicious odor before the blast.
It looks as if a bomb went off, which is why it is so curious that they are demolishing the building without having determined the cause of the explosion. But the demolition of the building has been stopped due to a body having been found in the building.
FBI, ATF Now Investigating Fatal Mpls. Building Explosion," By Jay Knolls, ABC News, January 5, 2014 (thanks to Mark).
Two federal agencies are now assisting in the investigation of the fatal Cedar-Riverside explosion and fire that happened on New Year's Day. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are now involved in the investigation.
One person is dead, at least one person is unaccounted for and fourteen people have been hospitalized after the building explosion and fire in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Fire crews responded to the report of the explosion around 8 a.m. on the 500 block of Cedar Avenue.
A victim's body was found in the structure on Cedar Avenue Thursday afternoon and has been turned over to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. One of the 14 hospitalized victims has not been identified.