North Carolina

KFC explosion that shook a North Carolina town was sparked by gas leak, officials say

A blast that disrupted the early morning stillness in a North Carolina town was ruled an accidental explosion, officials say.

Eden police on Tuesday announced a gas leak had caused a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in their town to erupt on July 11.

The sudden blast scattered debris and left the fast-food business “completely destroyed,” police said on Facebook.

Social media users said the explosion also made a loud noise and shook their homes, according to comments on a previous Facebook post. No one was hurt, police say.

KFC explodes, rocking a North Carolina town and leaving a pile of debris, police say

In the wake of the explosion, KFC said in a statement to WXII that it valued safety and planned to relocate workers while it rebuilt in Eden.

Officials were also taking a look at gas lines near the business, the station reported.

Christian Jarrett said he was in the restaurant’s kitchen hours before the blast when people inside smelled natural gas, Rockingham Now reported. He said the “gas line valve was not secure,” according to the newspaper.

A “manager reportedly tried to turn off the nozzle and called the gas company,” WGHP reported.

But one company, Piedmont Natural Gas, has “no record of a call from the restaurant” in the time leading up to the explosion, according to Rockingham Now.

Jamie King, manager at a nearby KFC, told the newspaper that employees go through gas safety training.

Officers say they worked with natural gas experts and law enforcement agencies to investigate the blast.

Eden is in Rockingham County, near the Virginia border and about 35 miles north of Greensboro.

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