GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina has now seen three disastrous explosions just in a matter of months. The most recent is the explosion in Eden that obliterated a KFC restaurant.
Police say no one was inside the KFC restaurant, on Van Buren Rd, when it exploded early Thursday morning. Debris was scattered on the road and surrounding parking lot. Several nearby businesses were destroyed.
"We're just so lucky that this wasn't 12 hours different," said Eden Mayor Neville Hall. "[If it happened] at noon, during the day, we'd have had a much worse situation. The main thing is no one was injured."
Downtown Durham Building Explosion
On April 10, a gas explosion that partially collapsed a building in Durham and set it ablaze, killed one person and injured more than a dozen others, police said. 61-year-old Kong Lee, who was the owner of the Kaffeinate coffee shop, is the person who died after the building exploded in downtown Durham, police confirm.
Durham Police Department spokesman Wil Glenn said a contractor boring under a sidewalk hit a 2-inch (5-centimeter) gas line, triggering the explosion. Officials said that 15 buildings total were damaged. Eight to 10 people were evacuated before the explosion.
Firefighters said a woman was found dead in the rubble after a home exploded near the Ballantyne Country Club in Charlotte on Tuesday, July 2. Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls from neighbors who felt the explosion. Fire officials said the explosion was felt several miles away, including at a nearby Publix, where some customers thought a bomb went off in the parking lot.
Charlotte Fire officials say identified an interior gas leak as the preliminary cause of the explosion. They said the explosion was likely accidental. Officials stressed they believe it was interior, not exterior, meaning other nearby homes don't need to worry.
Additionally, this wasn't the first explosion in Charlotte. Firefighters said there was one in 2008 that led to fatalities, but the damage was isolated, unlike in this case.
Piedmont Natural Gas released a statement the following morning that stated their technicians tested and checked the Piedmont natural gas lines in the area, and no natural gas leaks on the lines were detected.
KFC in Eden Destroyed After Explosion
The explosion occurred at the KFC on North Van Buren Road. Video from WFMY News 2 viewers reveals the building has been leveled in the area. Eden Police say they got a call around 12:45 a.m. about an explosion. Eden Chief of Police Greg Light says no one was hurt and no one was inside the restaurant when it happened.
The blast damaged several surrounding businesses, including AIA Sweepstakes, Tee To Green Golf Shop and King’s Inn Pizza Parlor. The damage for most of those businesses included busted and broken windows.
In a Facebook post, Eden Police confirmed it was an explosion. The surrounding section of the road will be closed as the investigation continues.