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WAXAHACHIE (CBS11) – Neighbors in Waxahachie blame Atmos Energy for a home explosion that rocked their Saddlebrook Estates neighborhood last September, and hired work crews to dig up the gas lines in front of their homes to prove it.

“Another event could happen because these excess flow valves are not where they’re supposed to be,” said attorney Tom Carse. He represents more than 20 neighbors suing Atmos for $1 million.

The lawsuit blames Atmos for not monitoring Metrobore, the contractor that allegedly cut through both gas and sewer lines.

“These homeowners are Atmos customers,” said Carse. “They deserve to know… is my line protected, and if so, where are the excess flow valve located?”

Carse brought in multiple work crews to hand dig in front of homes, searching for the location of excess flow valves.

The device reduces the risk of an explosion in the event of a leak that goes undetected. The crews located valves across the street from the main gas line. Carse argues that the valves are installed too far away. Directions on the packaging sat to install the device “as close to main as possible.”

Atmos Energy responded in this statement sent to CBS11:

Atmos Energy follows federal and state regulations (CFR 192.383 Excess flow valve installation) in the installation of excess flow valves. An EFV may protect against the uncontrolled escape of natural gas should the downstream line be broken/severed. While the use of an EFV in certain circumstances may help to limit the effects/damages of an incident, the best prevention against such incidents is to ensure that those excavating on or near your property are following the law by CALLING 811 and to expose gas pipelines by hand digging inside the state-specific tolerance zones.

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