AP NEWS

Video from inside shuttle bus shows moment of Durham blast

May 10, 2019

Video captured from a camera inside a Carolina Livery shuttle bus on the morning of April 10 shows the moment of the fatal Durham gas explosion.

Richard Meyers was driving a downtown shuttle bus for Carolina Livery on the morning of the blast. He told WRAL News that he was waiting for passengers at the Duke Building, across the street from Kaffeinate at 115 N. Duke Street, and remembers thinking it was odd that the coffee shop appeared to be closed.

“All the sudden, there was this huge force that came through, seemed like it came through the side of the bus,” Meyers said in an interview with WRAL News. “It was almost hard to explain the intensity. I felt like my bus lifted off of its wheels.”

The video - marked with the timestamp of 10:06 a.m. - shows the moment the blast shattered the windows in the bus and blew off its doors. WRAL obtained the video from Carolina Livery on Thursday afternoon.

Meyers’ face is covered in blood, and you can see another man on the bus come forward and ask if he is OK. The other man quickly gets off the bus and calls for help.

Myers was taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment and said seeing his wife at the hospital was a gift.

Meyers now has loud ringing in his ears and has to wear sunglasses because his eyes are sensitive to light. But he said he refuses to let his injuries slow him down or interfere with his faith.

Fire officials said that first responders tried to block off Duke Street as they investigated a report of a gas leak but were busy evacuating nearby buildings.

Kong Lee, 61, the owner of the Kaffeinate coffee shop in the building that took the brunt of the blast, didn’t make it out of the building in time.

Jay Rambeaut, a first responder and a locator for PSNC Energy, also died as a result of the blast.

At least 25 other people were injured in the explosion, including nine firefighters. The blast was felt for miles and left the Durham community shaken on what was, ironically, the city’s 150th birthday.