An explosion because of a gas leak at 4:53 Wednesday afternoon badly damaged a residence hall on Murray State University’s campus, the university said on its Facebook page.
The explosion was at Richmond Hall, which can house 268 students on four floors, according to the university’s website.
Dakota L. Fields, 26, was the only person injured in the explosion. He was in stable condition after being taken to Murray-Calloway County Hospital, Kentucky State Trooper Jody Cash said. Murray State’s website lists Dakota L. Fields as Richmond Hall’s residence hall director.
Murray State student Alex Brown, 20, said he was sitting in his house near campus when he heard a loud noise.
“It felt and sounded like someone drove a car into the side of the house,” Brown said. He said he ran outside to see what happened, thinking there might have been an earthquake.
Murray resident Taylor Black, 21, said he was driving near campus with music on and didn’t hear the explosion but saw a cloud of smoke.
“I just saw a bunch of smoke go up, so I ventured over to see what happened,” Black said.
When he arrived at the residence hall, he saw that a large portion of the building was missing its exterior, and debris was scattered across the ground.
Windows were shattered in nearby buildings, Black said.
All participants who were on campus for the Governor’s Scholars Program, Commonwealth Honors Academy and Adventures in Math and Science have been relocated, the university said.
Emma Austin: (859) 231-1455