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Northwest Missouri State University

Roberta Steel Watch Video

Roberta Hall wasn't always a building that housed sororities, and it wasn't always called Roberta Hall. In its earlier incarnation, the facility was called the Women's Residence Hall and was the only women's residence hall on campus. But that changed after a horrific gas explosion that occurred behind the building near the railroad tracks that once ran behind the residence hall.

On April 28, 1951, a gasoline storage tank on the tracks exploded, sending a steel beam crashing into the Women's Residence Hall and causing a fire. Thirty women were injured, four of them critically, including a student named Roberta Steel. Roberta died a year and a half later from her injuries, but her gentle, loving spirit is said to playfully haunt the building that honors her memory.

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