Amidst the death and destruction caused by a massive gas-line explosion in Durham, North Carolina, was extensive damage to a trove of rare and historic Porsches housed in a building next door to the one that sustained the blast.
Aerial photos and video taken at the scene of the explosion in downtown Durham show a gaping hole in the roof of the brick structure where Bob Ingram kept his much-admired collection of an estimated 80 Porsche sports cars.
Damaged cars can be seen through the hole, which caused sections of the roof to drop onto the vehicles, among them early examples of Porsche 356s and special performance models of the iconic 911. In videos, a thick stream of water from a fire hose can be seen spraying into the hole to suppress flareups and no doubt causing further damage to the cars.
As of Wednesday evening, no one had yet reported the extent of damage to the collection amassed by Ingram, a former pharmaceuticals executive who began collecting Porsches about two decades ago and whose collection was one of the most extensive in the nation.
The Porsches kept in the building were assembled in museum-quality display and range from the third-oldest Porsche 356 built, when the company first began producing cars in Gmund, Austria, to a modern Porsche 918 supercar. The collection highlights significant moments in 70 years of Porsche history.
The explosion was apparently caused by a contractor that struck a gas line while digging at the site of the blast. People in the area were alerted by the strong smell of gas and fire crews were overseeing evacuations when the blast shook the downtown area.
One person is known to have been killed and dozens injured, at least six hospitalized in critical condition. One fireman was injured by flying debris.
The scene of the explosion shows the building where it occurred totally devastated, while directly next door, the large warehouse containing the Porsches still stands but with heavy damage.