Seven people were injured Tuesday morning when giant explosion rocked a building on the Nyack College campus in Nyack, N.Y. Authorities investigating the blast suspect natural gas may be to blame.
Seven people were in the building at the time of the explosion, fire officials confirmed. All of the occupants were injured by the explosion but it is believed that none of them received life-threating injuries. One person reportedly received neck and back injuries after being blown through a second-story window.
The explosion extensively damaged a building known as the Sky Island Lodge, a two-story Tudor-style building that houses administrative offices, a computer lab, and classrooms. Investigators said that the blast ripped through one of the staircases leading to the second floor.
New York City news station 1010 WINS reported that there was one female student in the building taking a make-up test. The New York Daily News reported that students were meeting with professors inside the building when the explosion occurred.
David Jennings, executive vice president of Nyack College, told CBS News the college’s graduation was held recently and summer classes had not yet begun.
“Thankfully, we were out of session,” he said.
Another Nyack staff member said that any earlier or later and the building could have been fully staffed with students attending classes and meetings.
Crews were on the scene checking sewers and other infrastructure around the building for gas leaks. The Rockland County Sheriff’s told CBS that the smell of natural gas was still heavy in the area as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Although authorities believe natural gas is the likely culprit, they haven’t ruled out other possible causes. No foul play is suspected at this time.