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One person was killed, 15 injured as a result of a gas explosion that partially collapsed a North Carolina building, AP reported quoting the local police.

It was noted that the incident occurred this morning near downtown Durham. Thick, acrid smoke hung over the shopping district. A firefighter and a Dominion employee were among the injured.

At nearby Durham School of the Arts, students were evacuated and classes dismissed for the day. 

Durham Police Department spokesman Wil Glenn said a contractor boring under a sidewalk hit a 2-inch (5-centimeter) gas line, triggering the explosion. 

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