Friday, November 13, 2009

Residents demand answers

Janelle Stecklein / Amarillo Globe-News

Bushland residents attend a meeting with representatives of El Paso Corp. at Bushland High School. The session concerned last week's gas line explosion.

Amarillo Globe News

Web-posted Friday, November 13, 2009

By Janelle Stecklein

"BUSHLAND - More than 200 people filled the high school auditorium Thursday night to vent and ask questions about last week's massive natural gas pipeline explosion that shook the town.

El Paso Natural Gas officials sat on stage for more than two hours and fielded dozens of questions from residents affected by the Nov. 5 blast that destroyed one home, damaged others and temporarily displaced residents of the Prairie West subdivision.

"We know you have serious concerns," said Mike Catt, vice president of operations. "We may not have all the answers this evening."

The high school overlooks the site of the explosion. A large, black crater is etched in the landscape.

Residents shared stories of sleepless nights. Some said their children are afraid to sleep alone at night or leave the house.

All wanted to know what caused the explosion.

"The peace of mind out here is shattered," resident James Gillenwater said.

El Paso officials compiled and handed out a list of local counselors who can work with people.

Many residents said they were concerned other lines near the explosion site may have been damaged by the explosion. They fear another explosion.

Three members of the Torres family were injured in the explosion, and their home was destroyed. The family's mother and father, Alfredo and Agnieszka Torres, have been released from an Amarillo hospital. Franczeska Torres, 15, was transported to a Lubbock hospital's burn unit with serious burns. She is listed in stable condition.

Catt said officials plan to analyze the remaining gas pipelines next year. The company's proposed time line was met by angry grumbling from audience members, who wanted immediate analysis.

"I don't think any of us knew we were sitting on a mini nuclear weapon," said Dr. Jerry Gillis, who suggested rerouting the pipeline." More>>>>

1 comment:

  1. So, they said they'll do everything they can to make it right? How about get out of town? Is that on the to do list?