Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - An employee of the First Student School Bus Company was transported to Saint Mary’s late Friday to be treated for injuries he suffered in an explosion.

Rochester Fire Department Deputy Chief Steve Belau says the man was hurt by the force of the blast that ripped apart portions of the First Student maintenance garage at 2021 32nd Avenue Northwest at around 4 p.m. There’s no word on the worker’s medical condition.

Employees at the scene reported that a bus powered by liquid propane had caught fire inside the building. The resulting explosion started fires in multiple locations inside the garage, blew out some of the overhead garage doors and pushed out the metal siding and roof on the structure in several areas. Belau says the dark black smoke from the fires was visible a mile away from the property.

In addition to the injured worker, four other First Student employees were in the building when the explosion occurred and escaped without injury.

There were five buses inside the garage, and all of them were severely damaged. The maintenance area of the building also sustained major damage, but firefighters were able to prevent the flames from entering the office area.  A preliminary estimate put the loss at more than $250,000 dollars. The cause is under investigation.


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