Two people killed, 15 injured in Durham, N.C. gas leak explosion, building collapse on Wednesday morning
Preliminary investigation indicates a contractor digging under a gas line led to the explosion and partial building collapse in the city’s downtown
Smoke billows from the scene of an explosion and fire in downtown Durham, N.C. Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Two people died and 15 people were injured after a gas explosion shook downtown Durham, North Carolina and destroyed buildings on Wednesday morning.
The injured people include a Durham firefighter, who was in serious condition, and a Dominion Energy employee.
A police spokesman said a preliminary investigation indicates a contractor digging under a gas line led to the explosion and partial building collapse in the city’s downtown. A firefighter was “seriously injured,” the official said in a news conference.
The power company Dominion Energy in a statement said that a PSNC Energy employee responded to a call about damage to the line before the explosion occurred at 10:07 a.m. Flames broke out, and the building partially collapsed.
Additional PSNC crews arrived at 10:26 a.m. and shut off gas to the area around 11:10 a.m., Dominion Energy said.
Area residents felt the ground shake after the explosion and numerous images shared on Twitter showed flames and plumes of smoke pouring from the leveled building as city officials urged people to avoid the area.
“Update: @durhamcityfire is actively fighting fire at this time. Please continue to avoid the @BrightleafSq area so they can work!” the City of Durham tweeted about 10:30 a.m.
Smoke from the blaze could be seen from different parts of the city.
I climbed to the top of our parking garage to get this footage of a reported gas leak in Durham @WRAL
A nearby school dismissed students early because of the explosion. The school district said students and staff were safe and uninjured.
Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson also urged people who “heard/felt an explosion” to “stay safe and avoid the area.”
Two people were killed and 15 were injured, as a building explodes and collapses in Durham
Firefighters and emergency officials douse the flaming remains of the building after its destruction in Durham, N.C. on April 10, 2019
115 N. Duke St. Durham, NC, the building where the explosion occurred on Wednesday morning, believed to have been caused by a gas leak
Durham is just a few miles north of Raleigh, the state’s capital, and is part of the Research Triangle Region.
Colorado-based software innovator Prescient local media reported, moved its headquarters to the building the building at 115 N. Duke St. Durham in 2017.