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NTSB: Cracked Gas Pipe Was Behind Dallas Home That Exploded

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board says there was a cracked gas pipe behind a home that exploded in Dallas in February that killed a 12-year-old girl.

The gas explosion on Feb. 23 killed Linda Rogers and led to evacuations in the area around Espanola Drive in northwest Dallas. Atmos Energy crews worked day and night to fix aging pipes.

The NTSB was called to investigate the house explosion and to determine a cause.

According to the preliminary report, one section of pipe behind the house that exploded failed a pressure test and had a "circumferential crack."

"No money can replace a family member," said Jesus Colorado, who lives just down the street on Espanola. "No money can replace your trust."

According to the preliminary report, Atmos had been warned about leaks in the neighborhood as early as January 1. A company spokesperson has blamed the rain soaked, shifting clay soil.

"I agree with Atmos that the rain may have exacerbated the situation; but, the truth is the leaks were there most likely before the rains came," said Brigham McCown, a local pipeline safety expert. McCown is the former Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a federal agency which regulates pipelines and transportation of hazardous materials. "I don't think we can blame the weather for the leaks that ultimately caused the house to explode."

The report also says there were two other natural gas-related events in the neighborhood prior to the deadly explosion. NTSB officials are still investigating if all three incidents are related.

Atmos Energy shut off gas on March 1 to replace the pipelines.

Atmos continues to update their interactive map and dedicated website with the latest on the progress of the new infrastructure installation.

A CBS 11 I-Team investigation revealed there were dozens of reported gas leaks in the same neighborhood before the deadly explosion.

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