Three months after Durham explosion, cleanup not complete

Anthony Wilson Image
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Cleanup continues at Durham gas explosion site
Cleanup continues at Durham gas explosion site

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The drive along North Duke Street past the ruins left by April's sudden gas explosion is still eerie.

While the road is opened to traffic, the destroyed buildings look much like they did once the smoke cleared on April 10.

On Tuesday, crews returned to one of the destroyed buildings, working inside the garage that once housed expensive sports cars. The people inside, identified by workers as the garage owners, did not want to be interviewed and they instructed crews to say nothing to us.

A man who traveled to Durham from Orlando when his daughter, a Duke student who lives across the street from the ruins, sent him photos of the damage, shared his thoughts about what he saw.

Full coverage of the downtown Durham gas explosion

"She's still a little bit stressed because of what happened, and what happened to the owner (of the Kaffeinate coffee shop)," Ray Lopez said. "They knew the owner pretty well. To see it in person, like, wow. It's incredible."

Her apartment windows, shattered by the blast, are replaced temporarily by Plexiglas. And though the shockwaves spared his loved ones, Lopez said, "They're devastated. But life has to go on."

Lopez said his daughter would have been atthe coffee shop during the explosion, but a veterinarian visit kept her away. Now his family and many others are thinking about the lives lost in the explosion and the cleanup still left to do, three months after it happened.