SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – An explosion Tuesday in the boiler room of a high school gymnasium was so powerful it lifted the building’s roof and caused heavy damage inside but no serious injuries.
The blast around 7:30 a.m. at Valley High School in Santa Ana was in a girls’ locker room and happened before classes began, although some students already were on campus.
Security camera video shows the fiery explosion lift the building’s roof as at least a half-dozen people ran from the area. The blast blew doors off their hinges and sent smoke billowing from the building, which houses the gym, locker rooms and offices.
No students or staff were inside, said Deidra Powell, a spokeswoman for the Santa Ana Unified School District.
Four students sitting on a bench with their backs to the boiler room were taken to hospital for injuries described as minor.
“They were more just shook up,” Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Capt. Jon Muir said.
Muir said the explosion ripped off a door and blew it about 75 feet, tore at least three other doors from their hinges, knocked down ceiling tiles, and lifted the roof 4 to 5 inches off its load-bearing wall.
“It was a very big deal,” he said. “It’s fortunate there were no kids inside. It was a big explosion.”
The cause is under investigation, though Muir said fire investigators believe a mechanical or gas-related problem may have prompted the explosion since the force of the blast went up and not out.
The campus was reopened around 8:30 a.m. and students attended regular classes. Some courses held near the blast site were moved to a different location.
The school, which opened in 1959, has about 1,800 students.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy