Residents evacuated and roads closed after contractor causes gas leak in Durham

Residents were evacuated and roads in the Fayetteville Street area south of the Durham Freeway were shut down late Monday afternoon after a contractor caused a gas leak, fire officials said.

The Durham Fire Department was dispatched to Fayetteville and Simmons streets at 4:35 p.m. and confirmed there was a gas leak.

Roads were closed in between Umstead Street and Linwood Avenue, south of the freeway (N.C. 147) and just up from the N.C. Central University campus.

“The cause was a third-party contractor who was boring under the street,” the Fire Department said in a news release late Monday night.

About 20 residents were evacuated, and Dominion Energy was contacted to stop the leak, the release said.

Fire crews stayed on the scene for 3 1/2 hours while Dominion Energy stopped the leak. All roads with the exception of Fayetteville Street were reopened as of 11:30 p.m.

Last week the N.C. Department of Labor fined PSNC Energy doing business as Dominion Energy North Carolina and two subcontractors $21,100 in connection with April’s deadly gas-line explosion in downtown Durham.

In a statement, the energy company, which was fined $5,000, said it is committed to learning from “this tragic incident” but disagrees with the state’s findings.

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