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BREAKING: Explosion occurs on North Field, 6:30 p.m. (UPDATE, VIDEO)

UPDATE: 9/14 After the explosion that occurred around 6:30 p.m., Sept. 13, two people were sent to Kaiser Hospital. Val Rivera, campus grounds keeper, was one of the injured. He was released from the hospital late on Friday night with a slight concussion and no other injuries.

The second person, initially known as a Farmer Boys employee has been identified as Jose Almanza, the owner of Farmer Boys. He received burns on both of his arms in an attempt to turn off the gas pervious to the explosion. No other information is known about his condition.

Principal Todd Bennett expresses his gratitude that no one else got injured, calling it a miracle.

“It’s just a miracle that no body other than Val {Rivera} was injured,” Bennett said. “When the tank exploded, it sent shrapnel flying everywhere. But no one was even hit, only a few people were knocked to the ground.”

Original article

At approximately 6:30 p.m. an explosion occurred on the north field at the home football game, Sept. 13. The Farmer Boys grill caught on fire and eventually spread to the surrounding tent. After a few minutes the barbecue exploded sending flying pieces of metal onto the field and Alluvial.

Val Rivera and Lisa Raynes took precautions by clearing the area. While making sure everyone was away from the flames, Rivera had his back turned to the fire which then exploded, propelling him back and knocking him unconscious. A Farmers Boys employee, Jose, received burns on both his arms and was also sent to the hospital.

Shortly after, the Fresno Fire Department and Fresno Police Department arrived on scene, followed by two ambulances. Rivera was taken to Kaiser Hospital, but was conscious and responsive before leaving campus.

Because metal shrapnel landed into the football field. The Police Department had to photograph the evidence, causing a slight delay to the football game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Principal Todd Bennett was on scene during the explosion, and recounts what happened.

“Around 6:30 or a little before that the barbecue from Farmers Boys caught fire so Val [Rivera] and Mrs. [Lisa] Raines made sure everyone was away,” Bennett said. “The Farmers Boys people were away from it and they were keeping everyone away from the burning trailer.”

Despite the faculty’s precautions, the explosion knocked Rivera down, where he became unconscious. Bennett saw Rivera awake, and responsive before he left in the ambulance.

“Val [Rivera] had his back to it, the barbecue exploded and the explosion threw him several feet and knocked him out,” Bennett said. “He was the only one injured [sic], the ambulance got here and by the time they put him in the ambulance he was awake and talking, answering questions coherently, so they sent him over to Kaiser Hospital to see if he was okay.”

Check back later for more updates and news on Val Rivera’s condition.

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