1 Dead and 15 Injured in Massive Explosion in Durham, North Carolina

The 'Herald Sun' reports that one person has died and 15 more have been injured following an explosion in Durham, North Carolina.


Image via Getty/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds


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.

A gas explosion has occurred at 115 N. Duke St. Duke St. from Chapel Hill Rd. to Morgan St. is closed. AVOID the area. pic.twitter.com/9UdKMiKx7h

— Durham EM (@AlertDurham) April 10, 2019

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. 

All the buildings surrounding the explosion have since been evacuated. Another witness, Dottie Flake, was walking to work when she saw the explosion around a block away. "I just heard a boom, and didn’t know what it was with all the construction around here," she told the News Observer. "I saw the smoke, then fire trucks and first responders, and everyone was rushing out of their buildings."

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