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Porter Ranch Residents Allege Physical Illness From Local Gas Leak

PORTER RANCH ( — Residents who say they can't stop smelling gas from an apparent leak in their area took to the microphone at a council meeting Wednesday night against the gas company, who claims there is no issue.

The residents of Porter Ranch say that, in addition to the odor, they are experiencing physical symptoms as a result of the gas. When one speaker asked for a show of hands of how many people became physically ill, an overwhelming portion of the audience acknowledged that they had.

The Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon storage facility experienced a gas leak in late October, sending the odor into the air.

"(I've been) noxious, and I wake up sneezing and coughing, and (I have) headaches," concerned resident Judy Kugel said. "(SoCal Gas) will not be able to fix this any time soon."

Other residents claimed that children and pets have become ill as a result of the leak as well.

Representatives from the Southern California Gas Company were in attendance at the meeting to issue an apology on Wednesday evening.

"(My goal) at least for my self, personally, is to apologize to all of you, to all of those in the community," COO Bret Lane said. "We definitely hear your concerns."

Lane said the leak is located in a remote area at least a mile from homes, and that the gas is mostly methane, which is not toxic at low levels.

The company says they are working with the Los Angeles County Department of Health to resolve the issue.

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