Massive Gas Explosion in NC Kills One, Injures Many More

Durham, NC – A gas explosion at 115 N. Duke St has killed one person and injured 17 others, 6 of them critically, with one transported to a burn center.

Authorities responded around 9:38 a.m., Wednesday, to a call of a gas odor and immediately began an evacuation of surrounding businesses. The explosion occurred just after 10 a.m. as officials were helping people get to safety.

Durham Fire Chief, Robert Zoldos, says the blast damaged 5 buildings on the block and demolished one.

According to CNBC, the building is occupied by Prescient, which said in July 2017 that it was moving its headquarters from Arvada, Colorado, and expected to employ about 60 executives, engineering, and sales workers in Durham.

On Wednesday afternoon, jagged roof beams jutted out of the collapsed building, along with bent sheet metal, bricks, and wood.

A stream of water from a ladder truck sprayed onto the remnants, draining down the street as firefighters walked past.

Half of the caved-in roof cascaded into the rubble pile like a breaking wave. as the report describes.

Zoldos said one firefighter was seriously injured and in surgery but expected to recover.

The explosion came about 15 minutes after the office’s human resources manager sent an email warning that the city’s fire department was investigating the smell of gas and that workers shouldn’t leave the building through the front door.

Dominion Energy said in a press release Wednesday that subsidiary company PSNC Energy had received a call about “third-party” damage to a natural gas line in Durham. A PSNC worker responded, and the explosion “occurred shortly thereafter.”

The company said additional crews arrived and shut off the gas.