The Chapel Creek Apartments in northwest Dallas was evacuated Sunday afternoon after Atmos Energy discovered a natural gas leak.
Dallas Fire-Rescue says they were dispatched to the apartments at 3410 Hidalgo Drive at 2:48 p.m. to help evacuate approximately 90 apartment units. [[475096453, R]]
Atmos Energy released a statement on Sunday night saying "We have isolated gas service to the location, however we do not have an estimated time when repairs will be completed. If residents would like to a hotel room, please call 972–964-4191 to make arrangements."
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Natalie Amaya evacuated with just the clothes she was wearing, her dog and her car keys.
"I don't know when I'm coming back. I can't come home overnight to get my clothes for work," said Amaya. "I have no information."
Patricia Vega evacuated with her four kids and spent the afternoon on Sunday trying to reach someone with Atmos who could give her information.
"I asked what's going on, what I needed to do, he didn't know," said Vega while describing a phone call to Atmos. "I have family, I have kids, what do I need to do?"
A police officer at the scene directed evacuees to the Walnut Hill Recreation Center where people were offered pizza and water. Atmos later in the evening provided information about hotel rooms for evacuees.
On Sunday night, DART buses arrived at the center to take people to a hotel for the evening. Atmos Energy is providing vouchers for the hotel stay.
The apartment homes are about a half a mile away from where a house exploded on Friday morning, killing a 12-year-old girl.
300 neighbors that lived close to that home were evacuated, but were later allowed to return home. However natural gas service had been cut off to all the homes in the area.
As Atmos crews worked in the neighborhood, three investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on Sunday to look into the explosion.
Ravi Chhatre, the designated investigator in charge of the case, explained the full incident report from the NTSB may take six months to a year to be completed.
Chhatre said the NTSB will look at the evidence, speak to witnesses and eventually make safety recommendations to prevent another explosion. The NTSB would not be in charge of assigning blame in the blast.
"Our end product will identify the facts and circumstances leading up to the accident and how we can improve safety," said Chhatre.
Chhatre said it wasn't clear how long investigators planned to remain on the scene in Dallas.
Video from the scene Friday showed major damage to a home with debris scattered onto neighboring houses.
Neighbors believe there was warning of a problem. The two other explosions occurred directly behind the location of Friday's explosion.
One of the previous nearby incidents involved a man who said the flame on the stove flared unexpectedly, and the other was an explosion of a gas heater in the back of a home. One person was hospitalized in the second incident.
An NBC 5 viewer reported that another house exploded Thursday morning in the 3500 block of Durango Drive; those incidents remain under investigation.