VIDEO: Bus footage shows impact of deadly Durham gas explosion


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A camera from inside a Carolina Livery bus shows the powerful impact of last month’s deadly explosion in downtown Durham, North Carolina.

A gas leak occurred when a contractor boring into the sidewalk hit a 2-inch gas line. An explosion resulted at 10:07 a.m. and directly involved five buildings in downtown Durham.

Kaffeinate coffee shop owner Kong Lee, 61, was killed in the blast. Jay Rambeaut was also injured and died at the hospital on April 25. There were 16 others injured, officials said.

On Thursday, Durham residents like Barrett Robbins got a first-hand look at the damage. 

“It’s made me sad,” Robbins said. 

Robbins often visited Kaffeinate and grew close to Lee.

“He would just work, and work and work all the time, doing something to run the coffee shop,” he said. “(It’s) really, really heartbreaking.”

Others like Beth Belton and Liz Gimondo walked and took pictures of the rubble and aftermath. 

“I don’t think it registered the level of destruction until I saw it just now in person walking by it,” Belton said. 

With the street back open, they hope to see it get back on track while on the road to recovery. 

“We do hope the businesses reopen in this block,” Gimondo said. 

Investigators are still looking into the events that lead up to the explosion. 

Click here for the bus driver’s GoFundMe.

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