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Durham’s Duke Street set to reopen a month after gas-line explosion

Video cameras on bus record Durham gas explosion

In a video from our news gathering partner ABC11, see the Durham gas explosion that occurred in April 2019 as seen from a Carolina Livery bus and hear from the bus's driver, Rich Meyers.
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In a video from our news gathering partner ABC11, see the Durham gas explosion that occurred in April 2019 as seen from a Carolina Livery bus and hear from the bus's driver, Rich Meyers.

A Durham street closed for a month following a gas-line explosion was expected to be re-opened for traffic late Thursday afternoon.

Durham officials say Duke Street could re-open around 5 p.m. when the barricades at the Main Street and Morgan Street intersections are removed.

Duke Street connects the Durham Freeway and Interstate 85 through downtown.

Traffic had been diverted one block east to Fuller Street while Duke Street was closed.

Workers began removing debris from the explosion site last week.

Investigators also have been at the site trying to figure out what caused the explosion.

Two people died and 25 were injured in the April 10 explosion that happened shortly after 10 a.m.

The 100 block of North Duke Street has been closed since the disaster.

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The building at 115 N. Duke St. was destroyed. It housed the Kaffeinate coffee shop and Prescient, a construction technology company that has been in Durham for two years.

Next door, a building owned by former GlaxoSmithKline CEO Bob Ingram also was condemned. It housed the Ingram Collection, a famed collection of antique Porsche sports cars.

Around the corner on Main Street, two restaurants — Torrero’s and Saint James — remain closed.

The blast damaged 18 other buildings as far away as the N.C. Mutual Building on West Chapel Hill Street and the Federal Bar on West Main Street. A total of 23 businesses sustained damage, according to Downtown Durham Inc.

The properties damaged have a total assessed tax value of about $108.6 million, according to county land records.

An excavator removes debris at the site of as deadly gas explosion in Durham on May 1, 2019. Two people died and more than 20 were injured in the explosion caused by a gas leak on Duke Street on April 10, 2019.

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Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.


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