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2000, November 17
Explosion at Plankinton Public School
A disaster of catastrophic proportions touched Plankinton on this date. There was anexplosion and fire at the local school. Two men died and the school was virtually destroyed. Luckily, the gas lead was detected early enough to evacuate any children at the school before the explosion. A full report of the disaster complete with pictures and interviews may be found at: www.fema.gov/reg-viii/plankntn.htm
The following is based on excerpts from the above webpage.
The fire destroyed the school building, gymnasium and classrooms for grades kindergarten through high school and caused the death of two people.
The school board president, J.P. Studeny said this: "Very, very tough. Thekids have been through a lot. They lost not just their school building, but some people they were really close to."
The explosion may have been caused by a propane leak. At the time the leak was detected, the wrestling team and other children in an after-hours program were evacuated
School leaders were concerned for the emotional impact of the disaster on the students. Wrestling Coach, Charlie Geppert had this to say: "We had a get together at the church. Counselors were present, teachers showed up. We just sat around and talked. Sometimes we talked about what happened. Sometimes we talked about the deer season that was coming up -- just anything. Some kids felt like talking about what happened, and some didn't. We're providing the time to be together, and it's helped a lot."
The community has already received much help from all over the country. Board President, Studeny said this: "If anything positive can come out of this tragedy it's that people do come out and support one another. It has been very heartwarming to see."
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Plankinton and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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