Boiler failure triggered gas explosion at Nevada dorm

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Smoke rises above a residence hall on the University of Nevada, Reno campus on Friday in this photo posted on Twitter. (Courtesy, Claudia Tippett, @WxExtreme)

RENO, Nev. (AP) – The state marshal says a catastrophic failure in a basement boiler triggered the natural gas explosion that blew out windows and walls at a dormitory at the University of Nevada, Reno in July.

The Reno Gazette Journal and Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the findings Thursday.

Eight people suffered minor injuries in the blast that has shut down the dorm for two years and a neighboring residence hall for at least a year.

University President Marc Johnson said in a statement late Thursday he’s glad the fire marshal has confirmed “the explosion was not criminal or terror related.”

The fire marshal said earlier that just before the explosion, a technician had been working on a boiler that had been shut down due to mechanical problems.

Johnson says they’re fortunate that while there were minor injuries, no one was killed.

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