The Eden, North Carolina restaurant chain suddenly exploded in the early morning hours last Thursday

By Joelle Goldstein
July 15, 2019 09:05 PM
KFC Explosion
Deputy Chief Clint Simpson/AP/Shutterstock

Video footage showing the North Carolina KFC restaurant that exploded in the middle of the night last week after a suspected gas leak has been released.

The terrifying recording was captured on a nearby drug store’s surveillance camera in Eden, showing the perfectly-in-tact building suddenly erupting into thousands of pieces of debris and lighting up the night sky.

Luckily, there were no injuries from the blast, Eden Fire Department Chief Tommy Underwood confirms to PEOPLE. He also adds that the incident is currently under investigation.

While officials have not yet determined what caused the fast-food chain’s restaurant to explode, employees who were closing the KFC that evening told police they smelled gas shortly before the blast, Fox 8 reports.

In a statement to the outlet, a KFC spokesperson expressed their gratitude for the emergency crew’s speedy response and for the safety of their customers, employees and neighboring community members.

“We are devastated by this incident, but most importantly we are grateful that all of our restaurant team members are safe and no one was injured,” the rep said. “We would like to thank the Eden police and fire crews, for their response and continued support. We are cooperating directly with the investigating agencies as they work to determine the cause.”

Reps at KFC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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The incident happened just after 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, Eden Police Chief Greg Light tells PEOPLE.

“The Eden Police Department, Eden Fire Department, Rockingham County EMS, and the Eden Rescue Squad was dispatched to Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Chief Light says. “Upon arrival first responders found the business to be completely destroyed with a large debris field radiating from the business. The initial investigation revealed the business closed for business between 10:15pm and 10:30pm Wednesday night July 10, 2019.”

In a post on Facebook that evening, the Eden Police Department also confirmed that their officers, as well as firefighters from the Eden Fire Department, were at the scene, alongside a photo of the destroyed restaurant.

“The Eden Fire Department requested additional resources to aid in the investigation of the explosive incident.  The City of Eden Fire Department and Police Department appreciate the ongoing assistance of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (Greensboro Office), the Rockingham County Investigative Task Force, The Office of the State Fire Marshall, Rockingham County Emergency Services, Shiloh Fire Department, Piedmont Natural Gas, Rockingham County Emergency Management, Sam Smith Construction, NCDOT, Leakesville Rural Volunteer Fire Department, and the Eden Rescue Squad,” he continues.

“The investigative team formed by the agencies listed above continue to work diligently as they investigate the scene and sift through the remains of the building. This an active and ongoing investigation,” Chief Light adds.

RELATED: KFC Restaurant Explodes from Suspected Gas Leak After Workers Smelled Fumes

The blast was felt by some people miles away and left other neighboring businesses damaged, Fox 8 reports. Chief Light also shared with the outlet that no one was found in the building after a search by officials.

A KFC employee, who witnessed the explosion, told police he and other coworkers smelled gas on Wednesday as they were closing the fried chicken chain, Fox 8 reports. After attempting to turn off the gas nozzle, the manager reportedly called the gas company.

While officials work to determine an exact cause, Piedmont Natural Gas has plans to check the pressure in the gas line, according to Fox 8.

Eden’s mayor Neville Hall also reportedly told the outlet that the city will bring in an excavator to clear the debris and rubble on the site, which is expected to help with their investigation.

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