Cleaning Up MU Explosion
One day after an explosion shook Schweitzer Hall some try to figure out what happened. The white building along College Avenue had seventeen windows blown out. A landscaping crew used mowers, vacuums, and rakes to try and pick up the glass that had not been gathered into the debris pile Monday. At the same time a faculties crew boarded up the third story windows from the in and outside. As people pass by the clean up crews they recall what they were doing when it happened.
"I guess it was probably around three, just everybody that was kind of around the library started taking about it and it was kind of, you know, kind of like a hysteria because they didn't know what had happened, if anybody was hurt and the news at the time was kind of vague." said student Matthew Rennie.
Rennie works in the medical school library and when he found out he was shocked. Others shared Rennie's reaction. If not as strongly.
"Well, I work in the Life Sciences Center and about three I started getting text messages from a couple of people asking like if I was ok and what was going on and was anybody hurt." Clayton Hoffman said, "I told them I had no idea what they were talking about."
Hoffman works in a lab and said he was surprised when he did find out about the explosion. He said these things are kind of rare, but not impossible.
Four people were injured in the blast, and one is still hospitalized, but is listed in good condition.
Officials still have not released a cause for the explosion.
"Right now the investigation is ongoing." Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said.
The investigation continues as fire officials interview more people.
"Obviously, we had some people who were hospitalized yesterday and it was difficult to speak with them, we'll continue to do that today." Sapp said, "We will probably have to reinterview some people because as we interview some, others questions will be raised that we'll want to answer."
Sapp says the department has not ruled out human or mechanical error and the department is working hard to find out what happened.
"The main thing is we want to do a very thorough job on our investigation..." Sapp said, "so that an accurate cause and origin can be determined in the explosion so that lessons can be learned."
Hoffman says he's glad the investigators are taking their time and he understands why the MU officials are referring everyone to it's news bureau.
"While the investigations pending it's probably in their best interest just to keep quiet until they know something." Hoffman said, "Because people always want answers right away even though what's more important is to actually figure out what happened."
As the investigation continues so too will the clean up.