03/11/11 — Four people injured in morning blast

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Four people injured in morning blast

By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 11, 2011 1:46 PM

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An early morning explosion blew out the front wall to an apartment at the old Goldwater Motel on Highway 117.

An early morning explosion destroyed part of a former motel on U.S. 117 Alternate this morning, sending four people to the hospital.

The blast at the former Goldwater Motel, now used as rental dwellings, happened about around 4:15 a.m.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident, which created a wide hole in an exterior, brick wall of the one story building.

Taken to the hospital were: Tracy Grady, 41, of Dudley; Randy Johnson, 27, of Mount Olive; Regina Rugkit, 28, of Goldsboro; and Joshua Summerlin, 21, of Mount Olive.

Investigators with the Sheriff's Office said Grady has the residence listed as his personal address.

Two of those hurt took themselves to Wayne Memorial Hospital and two others were taken by Emergency Management Services.

Three of the victims have since been airlifted to medical facilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Other tenants were believed to have been in the building at the time of the blast, but no other injuries have been reported.

Investigators said there is evidence the explosion might have been caused by methamphetamine production, but the investigation is continuing and all options are being pursued.

No charges are currently pending, lawmen said, but the investigation is continuing.

The SBI was expected to take the lead processing the scene later today.

Mar-Mac Volunteer Fire Department volunteers arrived on the scene, but the explosion did not create a fire.

The owner of the building, Genus Hubert, is not believed to be involved in the cause of the explosion, investigators said.