Nyack, NY – Emergency response, including local fire and rescue, descended on Nyack College, dispatched after an explosion erupted in one of the campus buildings on the west end.
The incident occurred just before noon at the Academic Success Center (also referred to as the Sky Island Lodge), located at 177 South Highland Avenue, near Shuman Hall, the Boon Campus Center, and Betty Knopp House.
Nyack College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and home to the Alliance Theological Seminary.
The effected structure underwent extensive damage. Windows and doors to the two-story stone, tutor-style building, erected in the 1920s, were blown out by the force of the blast. The initial cause of the explosion was not clear, but officials from Orange and Rockland (county) Utilities were at the scene and it has since been suggested the blast had been due to gas.
Multiple inhabitants had been inside at the time of the incident, but officials say all have been accounted for and appear to only have suffered minor injuries from the broken glass and wood. Seven people were treated for non-life threatening wounds, two of them taken to the hospital for flash burns, reports CBS New York.
The building – formerly a carriage house for the Clarkstown Country Club, and later a converted Sky Island Lodge – was purchased around 2000 and renovated into a wireless computer lab with six classrooms and a tutorial center.
As a precaution, surrounding homes and buildings – including the Nyack Middle School – were evacuated. The middle school next to the college was unscathed. Gas and electricity in the area have been temporarily shut off pending an assessment of the damage and cause, and a 200-foot perimeter was established around the structure.
No additional information is available at this time, detailing the exact circumstances that led to the gas explosion.
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