A Funny Smell in Minneapolis

As I reported yesterday, after the Department of Homeland Security arrived at the site of the Cedar Avenue explosion in Minneapolis, the push for a “natural gas leak” began in earnest, despite the gas company’s insistence that they “had no natural gas in the area”.

It wasn’t long before media stories referred to an alleged smell of natural gas detected by witnesses before the fire. An earlier report from the Strib told us:

Fire Chief John Fruetel said Thursday afternoon that witness accounts of a natural gas smell and the explosion strongly suggest that gas was involved.

And yesterday KSTP-TV said:

In a news conference Thursday Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said the investigation is focusing on a potential gas type scenario due to witness statements. Witnesses reported smelling natural gas.

Today KMSP-TV reported:

“People who had left the building had made an indication that they may have smelled some natural gas,” Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said.

I combed through every news story I could find that mentioned the smell of gas, and none of them named or quoted from a witness who said they smelled it. All the reports simply referred back to the fire chief’s press conference yesterday.

The sole account that actually named a witness who talked about a smell (also from KMSP-TV) flatly contradicted the fire chief:

Abdi Quobey said the explosion took out the entire wall in his apartment. He added there was no smell of natural gas before the blast.

The only smell on Cedar Avenue is coming from a thick cloud of official obfuscation.

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Meanwhile, one of the two bodies found at the site has been identified. According to KARE 11, one of the bodies is that of 57-year-old Ahmed Farah Ali. Mr. Ali was said to be the roommate of Mrimri Farah, the 60-year-old Iraq vet discussed in today’s earlier post.

According to the same news article, the demolition of the building was completed today. Do you think that will make it any more difficult to determine the official cause of the explosion?

Previous posts about the explosion and fire in Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis, on New Year’s Day 2014:

2014   Jan   1   A Fiery Dawn in Minneapolis
        2   Enter DHS — It Was a Gas Leak
        2   The Gas Company Says: “No Way!”
        3   Body #2 Found at Cedar Avenue

Hat tip for KMSP story: Vlad Tepes

13 thoughts on “A Funny Smell in Minneapolis

  1. Pingback: News links for Jan 3 2014 – 3 | Vlad Tepes

  2. I remember a federal building in Oklahoma City that was immediately demolished (in the explosion area). I don’t believe in coincidences.

  3. These reports seem to have ignored one thing Fruetel said in his press conference: “likely a bomb”. How everyone else in the media has dropped this line is explainable only in one way: we’re getting the special government edition of the news again.

    Check out the last sentence:

    LA TImes

    A lot of people are out there, working hard to put up that smokescreen.

    • You New —

      Thank you for that link. It may be a typo, however, because it is unique, as far as I can tell.

      It appears to be a slight miswording of a previous report. Another, very similar story at the same paper — probably an earlier version of the one you linked — tells us: “Fruetel said the explosion was likely not due to a bomb.”

  4. My days of handling explosives are long gone, but I had a few accidents mainly due to mishandling of materials, these are usually of no consequence except at the assembly stage. Bombs are made of two types of explosive, a stable powerful base explosive that provides the power, and a primer that provides the kick-start for the former. To start the primer one uses a detonator which is, by definition, unstable.

    Detonators are not lethal in themselves, but once inserted into the primer they make a small bomb, and a primer going off in the midst of other inflammable material will spread that now burning material over as wide an area as is accessible, usually resulting in an instant inferno. This is the principle used in film making, using diesel fuel to give a visual ‘fireball’ effect, here in Sderot the explosions are less attractive and more destructive.

    This one does not strike me as a ‘gas’ explosion; fuel/air bombs (which is essentially what gas explosions are) give an extremely powerful single explosion which usually ‘puffs’ out all other fires (and brings the house down).


    Note the lack of fire damage.

  5. Obama has his FBI, NSA, HSH, CIA myrmidons all over this. You will NEVER, EVER know squat about this. It just got buried.

  6. Two remarks :

    – Aren’t gas bottles used for heating or cooking in Minneapolis ?

    – I wouldn’t trust Somali immigrants with using safely any legitimate contraptions involving electricity, flammable materials, or both.

    That alone might explain the explosion, especially if the building was old and badly maintained. In France, social services have to go out of their way to explain African immigrants that they should not let their toddlers get near open windows, because windows in France tend to be on upper floors, and therefore falling out of the window tends to result in death.

    And indeed, black toddlers tend to fall from windows with alarming regularity (sometimes they are intercepted before they hit the ground by white passers-by), to the point that the governement has published “racist” posters depicting black children doing something objectionable — which is quite an achievement for colour-blind civil servants.

    So it might just be black people acting stupidly.

    Also, why would officials try and hide any actual terrorist activity ? The FBI is mounting sting operations to incite Muslims to commit bombings they did not intend to do on the first place, and people regularly get convicted because of such operations.

    • Robert —

      The FBI is mounting sting operations to incite Muslims to commit bombings they did not intend to do on the first place, and people regularly get convicted because of such operations.

      You’ll notice that those are always “lone wolf” terrorists who self-radicalize. They are NEVER members of a radical organization or cell connected with a larger terrorist network such as — just to pick a random example — al-Shabaab.

      The publicized FBI stings are designed to further the “isolated nut-case” meme — crazy individuals who misinterpret a noble religion for their own deranged evil reasons.

  7. Pingback: Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave… | Gates of Vienna


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