Lehigh Valley

Neighbors agree with PUC findings on gas explosion

Neighbors agree with PUC findings on gas explosion

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The findings of Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission came as no surprise to people who live in the neighborhood where the explosion happened more than 16 months ago.

Many neighbors say they believe the tragedy could've been avoided after the '94 Gross Towers explosion that killed one man.

"I told them what happened in '94 from the Gross towers, 'start fixing those pipes' did they listen? No. It took a disaster, five people to die in order to start changing those pipes," said neighbor Jose Arzuaga.

Close to a year and half later, neighbors like Cathy Royack say they're still feeling the affects of the tragedy.

"I wake up sometimes and I think I'm hearing that sound all over again, that awful sound that we heard that night," she said.

Arzuaga claims he even had to go on medication for a while to help cope.

He says a sound is all it takes to bring back those memories, "To this day, every fire truck, every ambulance that goes through here we all jump. The whole neighborhood, I look out and see all my neighbors sticking their heads out as soon as we hear that fire truck, it just gives us that memory of what we went through that night," Arzuaga said.

As for the proposed fine and the complaint filed against UGI, residents say all they want is their neighborhood back, proposing the homes be rebuilt and a memorial for the victims who lost their lives.

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