Investigation continues into deadly Dallas gas leak, explosion

State and federal inspectors are still investigating the suspected natural gas leak that killed 12-year-old Michellita Rogers in a Friday morning explosion.

Gas in the neighborhood remains shut off while Atmos Energy works to replace two miles of natural gas piping in the area. Sections of the neighborhood have been slowly opening back up, street by street.

Residents in 90 units at an apartment complex nearby were evacuated Sunday afternoon after a suspected leak. Police are only allowing residents in and out to retrieve medications and other essentials.

Dozens of Atmos crews could be seen working throughout the neighborhood on Monday. Atmos said it will replace 2 1/2 miles of piping in the neighborhood and it could take up to 10 days to complete.

Private security and an NTSB ‘No Trespassing’ sign are now at the Rogers family home.

Brigham McGown is the former head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. He's not assisting in the investigation, which is being conducted by the NTSB and Texas Railroad Commission.

“These types of accidents are 100 percent preventable. They shouldn't be happening,” McGown said. “Does it mean somebody is at fault and somebody is to blame? Maybe. Maybe not."

McGown put into context just how serious this is.

“It's a big deal to have miles of line replaced practically overnight, to have multiple fires or explosions on the same block in a short period of time, to have neighbors say that they can see bubbles coming up through puddles,” he said. “That's very unusual."

Miguel Gonzales and his sister live on Durango drive, just a few doors down from one of three fires or explosions Dallas Fire-Rescue has linked to natural gas.

"I'm not gonna use gas anymore, probably,” he said.

Gonzalez said he's not taking any chances and he plans on installing all electric appliances.

"We're gonna change everything here to electric because we don't know when I'm gonna get gas back,” he said. “And I don't know if we're going to keep using gas or not.”

Mayra Vielma lives across the street from the explosion and she has still not returned home. She doesn’t want to come back until she knows it's safe.

"It's a big safety hazard for everybody here,” she said. “We don't know if it's actually safe to turn on your stove. Is it safe to turn on here? Because you don't know if your house is next.”

Aside from the stress of the gas leaks and evacuation, Vielma said the neighborhood is still coping with the very real grief of Rogers’ death.

"It's a heartache,” Vielma said. “Michellita, who has passed, was one of my son's classmates and it’s so very difficult for this school and community."

Atmos says it's providing hotel rooms for displaced residents.