Friday marks 1 year since deadly Durham gas explosion

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Friday marks one year since a gas explosion in downtown Durham killed two and injured 25 others while damaged businesses and buildings nearby.

The explosion, which was ruled accidental by the Durham Fire Department, occurred after a gas line, located at 115 N Duke St., was cut by contractor

Kong Lee, 61, was killed in the explosion. He was the owner of a coffee shop at the site of the explosion. Dominion Gas employee Jay Rambeaut was injured in the April 10 blast but died on April 25.

Twenty-five others were injured.

Businesses affected by the explosion have slowly reopened in the following year.

St. James Seafood reopened in January. The Durham Fire Department kept the flames from reaching the restaurant, which had no structural damage. But debris and glass from the explosion did get inside the building.

Investigations into the explosion led fines in the thousands for three companies connected to the explosion.

Optic Cable Technology Inc., the subcontractor performing the drilling was fined $14,000 for two alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.

Read the citation delivered to Optic Cable

PSNC Energy, or Dominion Energy in North Carolina, was fined $5,000 for one alleged serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.

Read the citation delivered to PSNC

A $2,100 fine was levied against PS Splicing for one serious alleged violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.

Read the citation delivered to PS Splicing

The maximum penalty for each serious violation is $7,000.

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