Unstable ground triggers explosions at construction site
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — An investigation shows warming weather played a role in triggering explosions and a fire at a hospital construction site in Minot last month.
Fire Inspector Dean Lennertz says the warmer weather caused the previously frozen ground under four propane tanks to become unstable. A valve or line broke as a result, releasing propane that was ignited by a pilot light.
The March 22 explosions shot fireballs high into the air at the Trinity Health construction site. No one was hurt, but the blasts shook homes more than five miles away and evacuated nearby neighbors.
Trinity Health says it’s reviewing the inspector’s report, but can’t speculate on when work will resume. The day before the explosions, a worker was hospitalized after falling down an elevator shaft in an unrelated incident that shut down work.