UPDATE: Explosion next to Minneapolis mosque injures 13, 6 critically

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email
Firefighters respond to an explosion in an apartment building in Minneapolis, Jan 1, 2014. ABC News

Firefighters respond to an explosion in an apartment building in Minneapolis, Jan 1, 2014. ABC News

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (ABC) -- An explosion and fire in a Minneapolis building that contains apartments and a grocery store has left 13 people injured.

Officials are now trying to determine whether everyone was able to get out of the building, which was quickly engulfed in flames.

The three-alarm fire began at 8:16 a.m., according to Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel. The chief said there was an explosion followed by fire. When crews arrived there were victims outside of the structure, Fruetel said, and there was heavy fire on second and third floors.

"Upon arrival crews made entry into the first floor of this structure," Fruetel said. "Conditions became untenable very quickly, with major fires coming out of the second and third floors. Crews had to back out and go into defensive position outside of the building, applying water."

Some people were injured from jumping out of windows, authorities told ABC News. The cause of the blaze isn't yet known.

Fruetel said that 13 people have been hospitalized, including six with critical injuries.

There were nine or 10 apartments on the second and third floors, the chief said.

"Not everybody has been accounted for in this building," Fruetel said. "It is possible that some are still inside."

The temperature in Minneapolis today is listed at -1 degree Fahrenheit.

Video from the scene showed flames shooting 20 feet from the building and victims of the fire outside in the frigid weather lying in the snow without coats or hats.

Abdi Warasami, an elected council for the ward that the building is in, told reporters that there is a mosque behind the building that may have been damaged in the incident.

"The grocery store and apartments above have been damaged. And I think there is some damage to the mosque," Warasami said. "This whole area is very significant to the community."

Authorities are now setting up a family center in the area where people can come together and learn more information about the incident.


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