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State inspectors investigating Minot hospital complex fire

MINOT, N.D. - Friday night's propane explosions at the construction site of Minot's future hospital are still the talk of the town. No one was hurt, but now the investigation begins as to what happened, and what this means for the future of the hospital.

It comes a day after a worker was injured on site, prompting OSHA to investigate. The scene on Minot's southwest side looks nothing like it did Friday night. State and local fire inspectors are on scene investigating. Meanwhile, fire crews have been monitoring the site as small fires burn themselves out.

The explosions caused temporary evacuations of nearby apartments. Residents were let back in around 10 p.m. Friday.

Friday night's explosions sent large plumes of fire and smoke into the air. The booms could be heard from all parts of town.

“The first initial one, my girlfriend, I heard it on the phone, it was very, very loud, very disruptive, and as we were pulling up, and as we were pulling up on the intersection over here, the second explosion happened, and that one was, from hindsight, I'd say, almost the size of the crane,” said Tyler Kolobakken, a nearby resident who was evacuated.

 

Work at the site had been halted, that's because OSHA was investigating an injury to a worker who fell down an elevator shaft just a day before. The man is said to be in stable condition.

For context, this is a 970,000-square-foot medical campus in the works, to the tune of $350 million. Trinity has plans to move into these state-of-the-art facilities in 2021.

Right now it's still unclear whether there is any damage to what is built so far. We should have more information on that when the site inspection is complete.

Authorities have since re-opened 37th Avenue SW to through traffic.

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