RENO, NV (KOLO) Injuries so far have been reported as minor after an explosion Friday at the University of Nevada, Reno campus at Argenta Hall, a dormitory. Argenta has sustained major damage to its south side and center; Nye Hall next door has windows blown out and sustained some other damage; there was no one in that hall.
Photo courtesy KOLO viewer Sam Stott
REMSA is on scene with a triage area. Six people were treated on scene for minor injuries and two people were taken to Renown Regional Medical Center, but have already been released. Crews are still searching for possible victims, but nobody is reported missing and police say they don’t believe anyone else is in the building.
UNR PD Chief Speaks About Explosion
UNR Police say it appears a mechanical failure of some sort in the basement led to the explosion that led to about two feet of water on the floor. A bomb squad is at the scene as part of the investigation, but police say “no suspects are being sought,” and the incident is considered an accident.
KOLO spoke with a student who was in bed and heard an explosion, followed by the smell of gas and an evacuation. Then, a second, larger explosion that did the damage seen in the attached photos. UNR Police confirm that and similar accounts.
Classes have been canceled throughout UNR for the remainder of Friday.
The university is working on finding housing options for students displaced by the explosion, and those students will be notified, according to UNR Police. Information on how they can get their belongings will be notified by the end of the weekend.
The incident was reported shortly before 1 p.m. July 5, 2019. The public is urged to avoid the area; surrounding streets North Virginia and Sierra Street are closed from 9th to 17th, though freeway ramps are back open.
Crews from several police and fire agencies responded to the incident.
Stay with KOLO for updates on this developing story.
NSHE and Board of Regents Statement:
The Nevada System of Higher Education and the Board of Regents is closely monitoring the situation at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“The safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance,” Chancellor Thom Reilly said. “We support the university in its recovery from this incident.”
Regents Chair Jason Geddes said, “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our students, staff, and guests. We are here to support the university and any individuals impacted by this incident. Also, we’re thankful to university police and all emergency responders for their quick response to this incident.”
Chancellor Reilly added he has briefed Gov. Sisolak, who pledged support to UNR.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019