The Herald Sun reports that one person has died and 15 more have been injured following an explosion in downtown Durham, North Carolina. Police say a contractor was working under a sidewalk on Duke Street when a gas leak erupted. Durham firefighters and Dominion Energy crews were at the scene shortly after the leak was reported, before the explosion happened 10 minutes later, around 10:37 a.m.
Durham Police spokesman Wil Glenn says that a firefighter is among the injured. "People were sitting at their desks and ceiling tiles were falling," witness Jim Rogalski said. "Stuff flew off shelves. You could barely see for 25 feet from all the dust. People were screaming."
Other witnesses also reported hearing and feeling the explosion, and it has not been specified if people were evacuated before the explosion happened. Police have advised people to avoid the downtown area of Durham.
Glenn held a press conference shortly after, confirming the status of the damage the explosion caused while also stressing that the information was still preliminary.