Birmingham, AL – Work is underway to replace the natural gas pipelines at the Marks Village Apartments in Gate City.
This project comes more than a month after a natural gas leak caused a building at the complex to explode. 40-year-old Tyrenese Mabry was killed and 8 others were injured in the explosion.
Some people living in the marks village apartments say they are still traumatized by the event.
“If we hear a boom or anything, they think it’s another gas explosion or something like that. It’s just not right. It’s traumatizing the children and it’s traumatizing us too,” said resident Veronte Sealie.
“I think about the fact that what happened to that lady. You know what i’m saying, because that could have happened to anyone of us,” explained resident Patricia Williams.
A project to replace the cast-iron gas pipes started this week. Alagasco says they decided to speed up the project after a leak survey early this month showed that there could be more gas leaks at the apartment complex.
“Alagascos system is safe, and part of operating a safe system is identifying and repairing leaks and replacing pipe as needed, ” said Ken Smith, vice president of System Integrity for Alagasco. “That is what we do, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assure a safe and reliable system for our customers.”
Thursday, crews were calking lines and setting up barriers for the new pipes. They were also hang notices on doors to make residents aware of the ongoing project. Attached to the notices were letters explaining the work they would be doing and how long it would take to complete.
But, some residents say they still have questions.
How we gonna live out here and do that and be safe while they’re out here digging, said Sealie.
In all there is four miles of cast-iron pipe that run through the apartment complex. Alagasco says this project is a four step process that’s expected to last until the end of March.