LAUREL, Neb. – The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating a situation with multiple fatalities that occurred in Laurel early Thursday morning. The situation includes multiple scenes in the Cedar County community and is an active investigation.
The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office is also on the scene. Law enforcement appears to be concentrated near the area of 3rd and Elm Street, though the perimeter extends well beyond that.
Multiple witnesses reported seeing or hearing an explosion at approximately 3:00 a.m. Officials with hazmat suits were seen walking toward the scene by the middle of Thursday morning.
Local businesses and other buildings in Laurel are reportedly on lockdown. A teacher training in Wakefield is also currently affected, with witnesses in Wakefield stating that the school there is also on lockdown.
The investigation remains active, though a number of first responders left the scene to tend to an active fire on the same street. Authorities say the fire is unrelated to the incident.
NSP will be holding a press conference at 3:30 p.m. to address the situation, according to a press release sent by NSP spokesperson Cody Thomas Thursday afternoon.
The media event will be streamed live on the Nebraska State Patrol facebook page.
FROM WAKEFIELD SCHOOLS: ‘Contrary to news reports, the school did not go into lockdown today. When a staff member was informed of events in Laurel and a person of interest was still at large, we locked the outside doors as usual during normal school hours. No one at the school was affected.’
Video courtesy of NCN.