More gas leaks in Gate City

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WIAT) – It’s been exactly one month since an explosion leveled an apartment building in Birmingham’s gate city neighborhood. The blast killed one woman and injured several other people. There are now 91 people suing Alagasco in connection with the explosion.

The suit, filed Thursday, is the fourth filed in Jefferson County in the Marks Village incident. Two Trussville attorneys have filed the suit on behalf of the nearly one hundred people who are now asking for a jury trial. It does not list a dollar amount for damages.

And just today, many people who live in Marks Village found out there are still gas leaks in the area. CBS 42 spoke exclusively with some of them who received notice they will now be moved.

“It don’t matter, they’re not trying to help us,” claims Brianna Holmes angrily.  “I’m fed up with this because I’ve been staying out here since I was a little girl and never experienced this.”

Holmes is a mother of two. She lives in the back part of Marks Village, away from the blast zone. But she wants out of here just the same.

“I thought it was a shame how we have to deal with this,” says Brianna. “We have more gas leaks out here and Alagasco ain’t doing nothing but digging up holes.”

For weeks, people who live around here say Alagasco has been digging and leaving these “grave like” looking patches on their lawns. They’re looking for leaks.

“He ended up waving a wand around,” claims Monica Wilson, another Marks Village resident in reference to an Alagasco employee. “And he said if the wand ended up making noise, the gas was still leaking. And it was making noise by mine.”

Wilson, also a mother of two, lives about 75 feet from a massive pile of debris. It’s all that’s left of an apartment building that exploded in an overnight gas leak that killed Tyrennis Mabry.

“For my daughter, she gets up every night,” says Monica. “She don’t even like sleeping in her room because it happened right there in her room. Like out her window. She’s seen it all. And she’s five.”

Today both women, as well as everyone else in the neighborhood, got this letter posted to their door. It warned of more leaks, to keep fire sources away from such gas smells and the plan to start moving families out of Marks Village. It came as quite a shock.

Many were pretty disappointed the housing authority didn’t make an effort to talk to them in person. And instead just gave them a letter. They said a lot of these letters didn’t even get to their intended target and instead ended up on the ground and blew away in the wind.

“They didn’t even knock at the door,” claims Monica. “We didn’t even hear nothing. I’ve been at home all day. I didn’t even know the letter was out there until he came home from work. So I wouldn’t have known nothing.”

We attempted to reach out to the Housing Authority Birmingham Division to find out how soon and where they will be moving the people of Marks Village. At this time they have not gotten back to us.

Copyright 2014 WIAT CBS 42

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