DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A gas leak has forced the evacuation of a Dallas apartment complex, just days after a house in the same neighborhood exploded and killed a 12-year-old girl.
The leak was discovered at the Chapel Creek Apartments, just north of Dallas Love Field Airport, on Sunday afternoon. As a precaution, 90 units at the complex were evacuated and natural gas service to the complex remains turned off.
This morning residents also woke up to an Atmos Energy crew digging at the corner of Marsh Lane and Clover Lane. Company officials say they are working to replace miles of pipeline afte rthe latest gas leak discovery.
The location is less than a block away from the Stephen C. Foster Elementary School, where students were evacuated after the house explosion on Friday. Administrators said classes would go on as scheduled.
“We called and they said that they’re open, so we brought our kids. But we’re still concerned because they’re digging out in front of the school,” said parent Jose Mendoza.
After two house fires, the deadly explosion and the apartment gas leak, Atmos is replacing gas mainlines and service lines. Belinda Rodriguez, who has lived in the area her whole life, said, “It’s pretty scary. I hope that whatever is going on they can take care of it pretty quickly, so everybody can have some peace of mind.”
The evacuation in the neighborhood where the house exploded, in the 3500 block of Espanola Drive, was lifted on Saturday but many residents living in the area say they don’t feel safe returning. Atmos crews were surveying the area near the house where young Linda Rogers was killed when they discovered the leak near the Chapel Creek Apartments.
Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) joined the investigation Sunday. A spokesperson says the organization is in Dallas on a fact-finding mission, not to assess any fines or place blame.
“We will identify the probable cause or cause of the accident and what steps operators and people can take to minimize this from happening again,” explained NTSB investigator Ravi Chhatre.
If any criminal wrongdoing was found the case would be handled by the FBI. The lawyer representing the Rogers’ family said there is video of the house explosion from the family’s security cameras and they plan to review that this week.
There has been talk that community activists are gathering to demand a criminal investigation into the gas explosion, but previously planned press conferences have not materialized.