Nevada
Explosion reported at university dormitory

A fire official said eight people were treated for injuries after an explosion at a dormitory at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Steve Leighton with the Reno Fire Department said Friday that two people were taken to a hospital and quickly released and that six others were treated for injuries at the scene.

Leighton said officials do not know the specific cause of the explosion at Argenta Hall but believe it was some kind of mechanical failure in the basement.

Police and fire crews were finishing a search of the building Friday and do not believe anyone else is still inside.

Firefighters were called after an initial small explosion and were at the building when a larger explosion occurred.

Photos posted to social media showed extensive damage spanning multiple floors of a dormitory. Windows were blown out, and debris appeared to have fallen on the street.

Student Raven Green told the Associated Press she was in her room at Argenta Hall watching Netflix when she heard a loud boom and felt the building shake.

She said she thought it was an earthquake. When she opened her door, she could hardly see in the hallway, which was full of smoke, with water spraying everywhere.

She said she climbed over doors and pieces of drywall to reach the stairs, which were broken, then raced back to her room to call 911.

The 19-year-old was in her room waiting to be evacuated as she spoke to the AP.

— Associated Press

Utah
Body of slain student recovered in canyon

The body of a slain college student has been recovered in a Utah canyon about 85 miles from a backyard in Salt Lake City, where other remains were found last week, police said Friday.

The disclosure came in the case involving 23-year-old Mackenzie Lueck.

Authorities previously said some of her charred remains and personal belongings had been found in the backyard of a man accused in the case in Salt Lake City. The body was discovered Wednesday in Logan Canyon, north of the city.

“I spoke with Mackenzie’s family this morning. Another devastating call,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said. “Despite their grief, we hope this will help them find some closure and justice for Mackenzie.”

Lueck disappeared June 17, after she returned from a trip to her hometown of El Segundo, Calif., for her grandmother’s funeral and took a Lyft from the airport to a park, where she reportedly met someone.

Ayoola A. Ajayi, 31, was the last person with whom she communicated, and his cellphone puts him in the park at the same time as Lueck, police have said.

The canyon is near Utah State University, where Ajayi sporadically attended classes for several years without earning a degree.  

He is being held on suspicion of aggravated murder, kidnapping and other crimes. Charges are expected to be filed next week, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said.

— Associated Press

Alabama
3 missing, 10 injured after boat crashes

Crews that included divers and underwater sonar devices searched Friday for three people who were missing on two Alabama lakes after a pair of holiday boating crashes that left 10 other people injured.

Both crashes happened after dark on July 4 on large reservoirs that are popular destinations for people seeking a break from the summer heat.

Capt. Gary Buchanan, a spokesman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Marine Patrol, said searchers including dive teams were trying to locate two people who were missing after two boats collided on Lake Jordan, located north of Montgomery.

Five other people were hurt in the crash, Buchanan said, including two who were hospitalized with serious injuries. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but officials said two boats collided.

Crews also resumed searching Friday for one person who was missing after another boating crash on Smith Lake north of Birmingham, Buchanan said. Five people were hurt, he said, and four of them were taken to a hospital for treatment.

— Associated Press

Lightning strike kills 1, injures nearly a dozen others: About a dozen people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck at a popular gathering spot along a South Carolina river on Independence Day, killing one person, authorities said. Ryan Gamble, 44, died afterward, Georgetown County Deputy Coroner Chase Ridgeway told WPDE-TV. Eight patients were admitted in fair condition, and three others have been released, a Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said.

Six-foot-long snake rescued from car engine: Police and bystanders teamed up to rescue a 6-foot-long snake that had wrapped itself around the engine block of a car in Connecticut on the Fourth of July. East Windsor police said the snake, which will be turned over to a nature center, might have been a boa constrictor and speculated that it was an escaped pet. They tried calling an animal control officer or another expert, but none was available because of the holiday.

— From news services