Gas Worker Died In Parking Lot

Another leak erupted at the scene where a gas company employee died this morning. That leak forced the evacuation of a Craven County fast food restaurant and a nearby Food Lion.

It's estimated the leak was spewing LP gas some 35 to 40 feet in the air. The latest leak has closed the James City Bojangles', while the Food Lion was allowed to reopen.

The body of Frank Birdsong, who worked for Jenkins Gas, was found around 11:20 a.m. this morning in the parking lot of the Highway 70 business.

Emergency Management Director Stanley Kite says Birdsong was in contact with an underground LP gas tank, but they're not sure the gas killed him. Kite says that tank was leaking gas into the air. The man was found lying over a manhole that accessed the tank.

The Craven County Sheriff's Office is now handling the death investigation.

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Craven County authorities say they are at the scene of a man found unresponsive, lying over an open manhole.

It's happening in the parking lot of the Bojangles' on Highway 70 in James City.

Emergency Management Director Stanley Kite says a local fire department and emergency crews are on the scene. There have been reports of a gas truck at the parking lot, but it's not known whether that is connected to the man being found or not.

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  • by So sad Location: New Bern on Aug 18, 2011 at 09:10 PM
    The gas you see escaping in the video is not hot, rather it is cold....below -50 F (the temp propane turns to liquid). Be sure to thank your propane man this winter for the risk he takes to fill your tank so you can be warm. Condolences to the Birdsong family.
  • by paula Location: phoenix az on Aug 18, 2011 at 07:27 PM
    R.I.P. Frank you will be missed by many.
  • by Frankie Eubanks Location: Trenton on Aug 18, 2011 at 03:18 PM
    Prayers go out to the family. I have known Frank for many years and he was a loving family with a great sense of humor that would just lift your spirits. He will be missed. RIP Frank.
  • by Dee Location: Smyrna on Aug 18, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    I also have known Frank for a number of years and actually had the pleasure to work with him. He was indeed a very nice man. After starting work with Jenkins Gas and no matter where he was on his route, if he saw you, he would always honk and wave. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they go through this difficut time.
  • by James Location: New Bern on Aug 18, 2011 at 02:39 PM
    Prayers and thoughts to the family. Horrible tragedy
  • by Hobbo on Aug 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM
    So sad. Prayers to the family.
  • by Connie Location: New Bern on Aug 18, 2011 at 12:22 PM
    I have known the gas company employee who was killed at the Bojangles in James City for a number of years and he used to work with my husband. He was a fine man and loved his family.

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