Guests describe scene at James Brown Arena after deadly gas leak

Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 12:04 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Anticipation stirred people in the James Brown Arena parking lot after an already rescheduled concert was again put on hold.

It was hours of unanswered questions when people eventually found out what happened inside.

“Everybody was kind of upset, like wow, somebody passed away from the gas leak,” said Meina Williams.

Williams originally bought tickets for a September concert featuring Charlie Wilson & Friends but it got delayed.

“Everybody was so excited about the show, because of course, we waited and waited for two months from the first cancellation,” said Williams. “So at first everybody was just excited thinking we were gonna get to go in. But we kept waiting and waiting.”

Williams said when she arrived people were already gathered around ambulances and firetrucks.

“So we got out of the car, and we just started to talk to other people,” said Williams. “People were asking us if we had to pay. We were like, no, so something’s going on, because they didn’t even make us pay to park.”

Something was going on and others knew it too.

“We got out there and the workers were outside,” said Nate Bethel. “They basically told us they evacuated everybody immediately. They didn’t know what was going on so we stayed in the car for a little while.”

The waiting eventually turned into questions.

“Nobody was telling us anything,” said Williams. “We were waiting to see maybe somebody from the arena to come out and speak to us and let us know what was going on. But at no point did I hear anybody come out, we started to just go back to our vehicles to see to get warm. And then the parking attendant told us that show had been canceled.”

What started as an exciting night turned upside down quick.

“Once we got out there like 30 minutes later they told us it was a gas leak and then they told us somebody had passed away,” said Bethel.

There is still no word on what caused the leak. News 12 will continue to provide updates as this story develops.