The home where a Dallas 12-year-old girl died in last year's natural gas explosion has been leveled. Federal investigators are taking the next step in finding out what caused the blast.
This week, the U.S Army Corp of Engineers is taking soil samples from the area where Michellita Rogers was killed. They are trying to determine if soil conditions are causing ground shifting that might contribute to natural gas leaks.
The attorney for the Rogers says the NTSB recently released the home back to the Rogers, and they had it demolished.
More than a year after the explosion, the NTSB says the soil samples will be the last major step before the investigation is complete.
One day before drilling 20 feet into the ground, a crew with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers took measurements.
“The soil samples will be analyzed by a private lab in Arlington,” explained Clay Church, with the organization. “They will find out the clay composition of the soils and if there is a sandy soil plumb.”
Ted Lyon is the attorney for the Rogers family. He’s handled many cases against Atmos and believes the testing will help prove their case against the natural gas company.
“I've never seen the NTSB do this kind of soil testing that they are going to do in this case,” he said. “We’re glad they're doing it. We think it will destroy one of Atmos' big theories that there is a big fault line and it shifts. We don't believe that at all. We have experts who don't believe it at all.”
Earlier, Atmos told the Dallas City Council that "differential earth movement theory" was to blame for the explosion.
“Concept that ground moves or doesn't move is not a defense for Atmos to not protect lines from breaking, being old and protected,” Lyons said.
Lyon says the Rogers are pursuing their case to keep what happened to their daughter from happening to someone else. She was taking video of herself getting ready for a cheer competition the morning of the explosion.
There were two other gas-related incidents in the neighborhood in the two days before the explosion at the Rogers home.
“This is the worst time of year for explosions,” Lyons said. “If you don't have a gas detector in your home, you are running a risk. I urge everyone to have one installed.”