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RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper formally requested that the US Small Business Administration provide assistance following last week’s explosion in downtown Durham.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of this tragic incident and state and local officials are continuing to investigate the cause of last week’s explosion,” Gov. Cooper said. “We must also help businesses that sustained damage get back on their feet and back to work as soon as possible.”

In a letter, Gov. Cooper requested an administrative declaration to provide SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to the City of Durham. The April 10 explosion resulted from a gas leak and caused heavy damage to at least nine businesses in downtown Durham. SBA loans would help offset the economic impact of reduced business and closure due to the incident.