An explosion at a dormitory at the University of Nevada in Reno Friday blew out windows and scattered debris on the street below.
At least three people suffered minor injuries and crews are still searching Argenta Hall for any additional victims.
Photos posted to social media showed extensive damage spanning multiple floors of a dormitory. It is not clear what caused the explosion.
Police and firefighters were on scene at 1pm Friday and advised people to stay away. Cops referred to the incident as a ‘utilities accident.’
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.
She 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.
Green, 19, said the dorms aren’t completely full this summer, but there were still lots of residents.
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.
The university cancelled all classes for the remainder of the day Friday.
Governor Steve Sisolak tweeted: ‘My office is aware of the situation at @unevadareno and have offered support on the ground. We will continue to closely monitor all updates. For those on or near campus, please stay clear of areas where first responders are working on the scene.’
The eight-story building can house up to 750 students.