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Explosion rocks the campus of the University of Nevada - Reno on Friday

Posted at 3:03 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 18:48:27-04

RENO, Nev. — An explosion rocked the campus of the University of Nevada - Reno on Friday. The university's police force told people to avoid the area due to a utilities accident.

The damage looks severe --- with debris scattered around the building. Officials say three people were hurt in the reported explosion inside a dormitory. But city leaders say no one died.

"I was just watching TV and like this boom like it felt like something hit the house is that I thought because some of my stuff fell," said local resident Sharon Hankins. "So I go outside and there's people out there and you just see just a plume of smoke. And then it just spread."

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blast. But one witness pointed to a possible cause.

"I got a call from a couple of my friends that are working there today and they said that there was an explosion," said off-duty maintenance worker Anthony Dericco. "Automatically I texted to make sure they're all okay, but they said one of the boilers exploded and that everyone was freaking out and part of it fell and actually collapsed."

People living nearby described the moment -- as like a car accident -- saying it shook apartments.