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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Explosion on S&T lot being investigated

  • Missouri University of Science and Technology campus police are investigating an explosion that was reported Friday evening on a university parking lot.
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  • Missouri University of Science and Technology campus police are investigating an explosion that was reported Friday evening on a university parking lot.
    No injuries were reported in the explosion that occurred around 9:51 p.m. March 15. The explosion apparently caused damage to windows at nearby apartment buildings and residences.
    There were several reports of windows being blown out and another report of a nearby building shaking.
    The explosion occurred on Lot 6 off 16th Street, west of Pine Street, near the Emerson Electric Company Hall on campus. S&T police, the Rolla Police Department and the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue all responded.
    Ron Smith, assistant fire chief with the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, said fire officials believe the explosion was caused by glass jars which had black powder and a fuse in them. One of the devices exploded, but the other did not detonate, Smith said.
    “We’re glad the second one didn’t fully function,” Smith said. “It was fortunate that it happened in an area that was really open. There was a big potential for harm but thankfully no one was injured.”
    Smith said fire crews secured the scene and made sure there was no additional harm caused to people by the damaged windows in the area.
    Mary Helen Stoltz, with the university’s public relations office, said the she is unaware of any suspects at this time.
    “It’s an ongoing investigation,” she said.
    Several people around Rolla reported on Facebook that they heard the loud explosion.
    In Castleman Hall off of 10th Street, there was an indoor pyrotechnic show that was being held Friday evening as part of the coronation ceremony for the St. Patrick’s Day activities.
    Stoltz said she was unsure if the two incidents were connected.
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