PORTER RANCH (CBSLA.com) — Large numbers of residents angry over nearly a month of breathing chemicals spewed from a gas leak in Porter Ranch took to the streets Monday night in protest.
The frustrations of parents and children alike boiled over and were directed at SoCal Gas, which operates the nearby well that has been leaking gas into the air for weeks. The leak is at the company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility in the Santa Susana Mountains.
Parents such as Cliff Gimbert, whose daughter is a student at a school in Porter Ranch, have had enough of waiting around for the issue to be resolved. Gimbert says his daughter has been sick for weeks.
“It’s extremely scary,” Gimbert said. “My daughter has had ongoing bloody noses daily for the past couple of weeks, and on top of that, she’s been complaining of headaches.”
Gimbert is not the only resident claiming the onset of health hazards as a result of the gas leak.
“I thought actually I was going to have a heart attack, because it built up a plume in front of my house, and when I opened the door, I inhaled so much that my heart started going crazy,” resident Karolanne Kim stated.
SoCal Gas, meanwhile, says the leak in the well is hundreds of feet underground and that they don’t know what caused it. A second relief well is being drilled to fix the breach, but that may take months to complete.
The company is also trying to plug the leak by spraying fluids into the spot where the gas is spewing.
The leak’s odor is caused by the chemicals put inside the natural gas to make it detectable. These are the same chemicals that are causing nausea, breathing problems and headaches, according to the health department.
SoCal Gas plans to spray another chemical they say is safe, which they hope will eliminate the odor.
The health department has issued a directive to Socal Gas, saying that they must relocate residents, free of charge.
As of Monday evening, 30 residents have taken up the offer to relocate.