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Accident, explosions halt construction at Minot hospital site

Construction remained halted Monday, March 25, at the new Trinity Health location on Minot's southwest edge. The site was closed last Thursday after a worker fell. On Friday several explosions and fire occurred at the site. Kim Fundingsland / Minot Daily News

MINOT, N.D. - With the exception of inspectors conducting necessary and tedious examination, no work was being done Monday at the construction site of the new Trinity Medical complex on the southwest edge of the city. It is not known when construction will resume.

The site was closed down last Thursday, March 21, following an accident in which a worker was said to have fallen from a height of four stories. On Friday evening, a series of four loud explosions at the site thundered through the city, rattling windows and shaking homes for several miles.

Fireballs shot high into the air above the metal infrastructure at the building site. The resulting fire lasted several hours and many people living nearby were evacuated as a precaution. No one was injured due to the explosions which are reported to have come from propane tanks located at the work site.

First responders blocked off a wide area around the construction site following the explosions. It was determined to let the fires burn out rather than risk injury by entering a dangerous area.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, OSHA, had representatives on the scene last week in response to the worker accident that initially brought construction at the site to a halt. On Friday, the explosions that ripped through the facility did so while workers remained away from the closed job site.

The fire marshal was combing through the scene Monday. No conclusions as to the cause of the explosions have yet been released to the public. Neither has OSHA released any information regarding the worker accident.

Trinity Hospital released a statement on its website Monday. In part, it read:

"The site is closed and appropriate authorities and experts are investigating the incident. This process will take some time. Until we have sufficient information and recommendations to consider, Trinity Health will not speculate on the impact this event may have on the project timeline."

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