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Infrared Video Shows Harmful Gas Cloud Above Porter Ranch, Attorneys Say

GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA.com) Porter Ranch residents say they have new proof that their health is in danger from a six-week-old natural gas leak after lawyers on Tuesday released an infrared video showing what they believe to be a massive cloud of gas hovering over the community.

Residents said the video confirmed their fears that the leak in a SoCal Gas well in Aliso Canyon is contaminating the community and posing a significant health risk to residents.

"It was scary to say the least," a Porter Ranch resident, Janet Holyfield, said. "You look out into the air and it looks clean. And to know it's really not. And to know it's really harmful to your health -- it's just scary."

Another resident said her son is one of the many people in the community who has become ill since the well began leaking.

"I believed it because I felt it," Porter Ranch resident Sarah Hashima said. "We felt the health impact. My son was throwing up everyday."

The video was shot with a Gasfinder 320 camera -- the same equipment used by regulators to detect methane leaks and pollution.

The footage was gathered by lawyers who are suing SoCal Gas on behalf of Porter Ranch residents.

The attorneys presented the video to hundreds of concerned Porter Ranch residents on Tuesday.

A professor of Hydrocarbons at USC said the video might show methane gas, but that the plume could also be a mixture of different elements -- even just fog. Air samples would need to be taken to confirm the contents of the air residents are breathing, the professor said.

A lawyer working with residents said the video speak for itself.

"It's a $100,000 camera," the attorney, R. Rex Parris said. "It's designed specifically to design the gases. And no it's not fog, it's not a cloud. It's poison gases."

On Monday, the LA city attorney announced a lawsuit against SoCal Gas stemming from the leak.

 

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