1 dead, 17 injured from fiery explosion in Durham, North Carolina: Officials

PHOTO: In this aerial photo, firefighters battle a fire at the scene of an explosion in Durham, N.C. Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Julie Wall/The News & Observer via AP)PlayJulie Wall/The News & Observer via AP
WATCH Gas leak caused explosion that left 1 dead, 15 injured in North Carolina: Officials

One person has died and 17 others were injured after a fiery explosion in Durham, North Carolina, Wednesday morning, according to officials.

The blast was felt city-wide, according to Durham Fire Chief Robert Zoldos.

The explosion was caused by a gas leak after a contractor drilling into the sidewalk struck a 2-inch gas line, said Durham police.

PHOTO: Firefighters and emergency personnel work the scene of an explosion and building fire in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019. Gerry Broome/AP
Firefighters and emergency personnel work the scene of an explosion and building fire in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019.
PHOTO: A gas explosion killed 1 person and injured 17 others in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019. WTVD
A gas explosion killed 1 person and injured 17 others in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019.
PHOTO: In this photo released by Jim Rogalski, firefighters help injured people after a building exploded, April 10, 2019, in Durham, N.C. Jim Rogalski via AP
In this photo released by Jim Rogalski, firefighters help injured people after a building exploded, April 10, 2019, in Durham, N.C.

The explosion impacted five buildings, causing catastrophic damage to one, police said. The fire has since been contained.

The person who died in the incident has been identified as 61-year-old Kong Lee.

At least six people were hospitalized in critical condition, according to officials.

A firefighter is among the injured and underwent surgery, Zoldos said. His condition is considered serious but not life threatening, Zoldos said.

A Dominion Energy worker was also hurt, according to the city.

PHOTO: A gas explosion killed 1 person and injured 15 others in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019. WTVD
A gas explosion killed 1 person and injured 15 others in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019.
PHOTO: A gas explosion killed 1 person and injured 15 others in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019. WTVD
A gas explosion killed 1 person and injured 15 others in downtown Durham, N.C., April 10, 2019.

Construction worker Tyler Headrick said he saw a cloud of smoke before the building crumbled and people started to flee, he told ABC Raleigh station WTVD.

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