An employee at James Brown Arena has died after a gas leak was discovered at the Augusta, Ga., venue.
According to the local CBS affiliate, the person who died, Rex Broadwater (66), was an employee at the arena, and the evacuation led to the cancellation of a concert that was to be held at the facility Friday night.
“It is with deep sadness that we report the death of one of our employees due to an accident occurring at James Brown Arena just prior to tonight’s Charlie Wilson & Friends show,” arena management said in a statement Friday night.
Broadwater was a maintenance worker, and he discovered the leak, which was believed to be freon. However, the matter is still under investigation.
Richmond County deputies and Augusta Fire Department arrived at the scene as those gathered to see Charlie Wilson & Friends were being escorted out of the arena around 7:12 p.m.
“We got there and the workers were outside," Nat Bethel, who was among people turned back, told CBS. "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. 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 ... so I hate those things happened. Saddened by it.”
The concert had already been canceled and rescheduled once. Ticket holders will be refunded.