Propane truck overturn in Aurora, Durham Creek Road closed

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2017

AURORA — A propane truck overturned on Durham Creek Road, about a quarter of a mile from the intersection of Minor Run Road, outside of Aurora.

The accident happened at approximately 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Beaufort County Emergency Management Director John Pack, propane was leaking from a broken valve on the overturned Eastern Propane truck. Eastern Propane is in Bayboro in Pamlico County.

“There’s leaking of some propane; it’s not a full-on leak. … One of the valves broke off. The good news is the wind is blowing in such a direction it’s going out in wooded, farm areas, and not near any structures,” Pack said. “At the time, there is no danger to anyone because the wind’s blowing that hard.”

Aurora and Blounts Creek firefighters and EMS squads, along with Beaufort County EMS, initially responded to the scene, along with trucks from Eastern Propane to offload the truck’s propane, Pack said. Fire Marshal Curtis Avery was also at the scene of the accident.

Both Durham Creek Road and Core Point Road remained closed into the evening and law enforcement is diverting traffic. Pack said traffic diversion was to ensure that first responders could maneuver on both sides of the accident while staying upwind of the propane.

The driver of the truck was airlifted out by Vidant East Care’s helicopter, and was described as “in and out of consciousness.” Pack said he did not know the details of the accident, as until the propane was uploaded from the truck, Highway Patrol troopers “can’t even get in there to reconstruct it.”

Another propane truck overturned in Bertie County on Tuesday, this one closing three miles of N.C. Highway 45 and requiring three homes to be evacuated. Pack said responders in Bertie County would be burning off propane at the scene, whereas in Beaufort County, propane from the tank on the truck involved in the accident would be pumped into another truck’s tank.

As the afternoon turned to evening, Beaufort County Emergency Management sent light towers to the accident scene.

“They’re still there,” Pack said at 5 p.m. Tuesday. “They’re going to be there a while. They’re going to have to wait and get all the pieces together. It will be as long as it will have to be.”

Pack said where the rollover occurred made for a less dangerous situation.

“I’m glad it happened where it did because if this had happened around a lot of structures, this could have ended a whole lot different,” Pack said. “If someone had walked by with a cigarette — not that the tank would explode, but it could’ve caused a fire.”