Durham Fire Department releases findings in report on deadly downtown gas explosion

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Fire crews in Durham are fighting a fire after gas explosion (Photo: WTVD)

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) — The City of Durham Fire Department said Friday that the April 10 downtown gas explosion that killed two people and injured 25 was ruled accidental.

The department released its Origin and Cause Investigation Report about the deadly explosion Friday afternoon.

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The report follows a three-month investigation in which more than 25 people were interviewed, and numerous processes, 911 calls, and videotapes were examined and reviewed.

The first 911 call reporting a smell of gas occurred at approximately 9:11 a.m. by a woman who was driving in the area.

Key investigation findings in the report revealed that the explosion occurred at 115 North Duke Street when “an explosive atmosphere was created when a gas service line was struck during a horizontal boring operation.



This breach allowed fugitive gas to flow until reaching an ignition source, at which time an explosion occurred resulting in severely damaged and destroyed buildings. As a result of the explosion, several persons, including firefighters, were injured and two fatalities occurred,” the City of Durham wrote in a release.

The devastation killed Kaffeinate coffee shop owner Kong Lee and Jay Rambeaut, a Dominion Energy employee rushing to shut off the gas.

Read more here.