Feds begin collecting soil samples at site of deadly Northwest Dallas gas explosion

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Federal investigators on Tuesday started to collect soil samples at the site of a deadly gas explosion that destroyed a home and killed a girl in Northwest Dallas last year.

The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to determine if extreme shifting in the soil contributed to the explosion, as the gas company claims.

Work was slow-going on Tuesday, as it took hours to get just one sample of soil from twenty feet below the street. Officials said they still wanted to get three more samples in the neighborhood.

The NTSB hopes the four samples will reveal anything unusual that might have triggered three gas related incidents in three days in Feb. 2018. The last one, a gas explosion, killed Michellita Rogers, 12, while she was getting ready for a cheer competition.

“Lab will look at sample see composition, what type of materials in the soil,” said Clay Church, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Church said the NTSB’s request is unusual.

“First time I know in 20 years we have been asked to do this for them,” HE SAID.

Atmos has blamed the gas leaks on a phenomenon called "differential earth movement theory." The company is still working to replace old pipes around Dallas.

FOX4 found work happening currently along Marsh Lane just south of LBJ Freeway.

A spokesman with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the drilling and testing is estimated to cost $25,000. The samples will be sent to a private lab in Arlington for testing.