Natural Gas Leaks Detected Near Virginia Home Explosion Site - NBC4 Washington

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Natural Gas Leaks Detected Near Virginia Home Explosion Site

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Natural Gas Leaks Detected Near Virginia Home Explosion Site

    A Washington Gas crew has found two natural gas leaks near a home in Northern Virginia that was rocked by an explosion Sunday afternoon.

    Washington Gas found two leaks near the intersection of W. Longview Drive and Franklin Street in Woodbridge, Virginia, where a family's house on the 14100 block of Franklin Street was suddenly hit by a blast that blew out windows.

    "Please accept our apologies for the concerns raised by the damage that occurred in your neighborhood, and by the inconvenience caused by our work," Washington Gas said in a letter to neighbors.

    A crew repaired the leaks, the company said. 

    The explosion occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday. A crew went door to door to test gas levels after someone on the street called 911 to report the odor.

    The level of gas detected in Maria Rivera's home was so high that she and four family members were ordered to evacuate immediately.

    "We were just literally seconds crossing the street and not even that much time went by that the house blew," resident Maria Rivera said Monday, according to her daughter, Vicki Villalobos, who interpreted from her mother's Spanish.

    "The fire marshal told me, if they would have been in the house and not been evacuated, we wouldn't be here right now," Rivera said.

    Washington Gas said the company is helping the Riveras.

    "We are in direct contact with the Rivera family to provide financial support for temporary lodging and for the repairs needed to allow a prompt return to their home," the letter to neighbors said.

    The cause of the explosion is under investigation by Washington Gas, the Prince William County Fire Department and the pipeline safety division of the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

    Anyone who smells natural gas is instructed to leave the area immediately and, from a safe location, call 911 or the Washington Gas Emergency Leak Line at 703-750-1400.