Explosion at Murray State University; no injuries reported

The damage speaks for itself. Glass shattered, debris hundreds of feet away, and a large portion of Richmond Hall is gone.

Murray State officials are calling this explosion the result of a natural gas leak that happened around 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Students said it could be heard and felt miles away.

“What I heard was a loud bang and it felt like a percussion,” Noah Van Den Bosch said. “And it honestly felt like something smashed into the roof of our house!”

“I was at Walmart and it felt like something big tree had landed on the roof like they dropped a heavy pallet, it shook the building,” another student said.

Dr. Adrienne King, a university spokesman, said the dorm houses almost 300 students and was being used this summer for their honors academy.

“My heart shank,” Van Den Bosch said. “I felt like they may have been involved in that!”

Luckily, Dr. King says all students were accounted for, but the impact left one student, May 2017 graduate Dakota Fields, in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

On campus, you can see buildings surrounding the residence hall damaged: glass broken and windows busted.

“There’s bricks all over the road over there,” a student said. “That’s crazy how it went hundreds of feet from the building; that’s intense!”

The university put up temporary fences and yellow caution tape to further investigation the scene.
Some students say the explosion may be over, but its burst will be felt in the fall.

“We were already very tight for space,” Van Den Bosch said. “Very tight for parking; so having less parking space and less living space is going to be a great problem for everyone involved.”

While others say they are just thankful it didn’t happen when the campus is flooded with students.

“Thank God that didn’t happen when school was in session,” a student said.

Students who were being housed in this dorm are now relocated on campus. A structural engineer will be on campus Friday to look over the damage.