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People returning home following Gate City gas explosion - abc27 WHTM

Update: People returning home following Gate City gas explosion

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Update from Alagasco:

First and foremost, we want to express that our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragedy. We want to reiterate that Alagasco's priority is the safety of our customers, the public and our employees.

Early this morning, Alagasco responded to a report of a structure fire in the Gate City area.  We located and turned off natural gas service to the area involved.  Right now, Alagasco personnel are on site going from home to home to reconnect service where possible.

We are working closely with state and federal authorities who are handling the investigation. Alagasco is also working with the American Red Cross and the Birmingham Housing Authority to ensure that residents are taken care of.

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Many people are just now settling back into their apartments inside Marks Village without water or gas.

People in Gate City woke to rattling buildings, breaking windows and screams. Some parents were alerted to the early morning gas explosion by children pointing out the window to what's been described as flames shooting straight into the sky.

Residents in about a dozen buildings immediately surrounding the Gate City explosion site were evacuated just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Their doors were locked, and a shelter opened at the Gate City Recreation Center.

Around 10:30 a.m., some people were allowed to go back home. But they aren't sure when the gas will be turned back on or water will be drinkable.

Birmingham first responders along with Alagasco are on scene.

Red Cross is set up in two locations to provide emergency works and residents with food and water. Right now, the agency is uncertain as to how many people will need help finding somewhere to sleep.

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