PG&E criticized for slow gas leak repairs in Castro Valley

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On Monday, PG&E crews attempting to adjust a gas line to a Castro Valley homeowner's meter accidentally broke it.

A gas leak caused homes to be evacuated in a Castro Valley neighborhood on Monday and another leak happened Wednesday at the same location. Residents are now asking why PG&E didn't want to call the fire department for help.

On Monday PG&E crews attempting to adjust a gas line to a homeowner's meter accidentally broke it, causing a gas leak that forced an emergency evacuation of the home and others nearby.

The homeowner, Robin Lunghi, said she had to call 9-1-1 because the crews that were there did not.

"The sound alone was huge, huge. And the smell was just all over the place," she said. "Next thing we know, whoosh, and he's yelling at my husband, 'Get out of the house!'"

Lunghi said she and others immediately feared the worst. "Can you spell San Bruno? We were terrified," she said.

Alameda County firefighters were back on the scene Wednesday. ABC7 News was there to speak with Lunghi about what happened on Monday and quickly noticed the strong smell of gas coming from her meter.

She called 9-1-1 and when fire crews arrived, they confirmed her fears. There was indeed a gas leak.

"The PG&E guy, he broke it. He said, 'I broke it,'" she said.

But it's the response Lunghi got from PG&E after that left her frustrated and angry. "PG&E told me they couldn't give me a time when someone would be out because it's an all-day emergency appointment," she said.

"The situation is safe. The situation on Monday was safe," PG&E spokesperson Nicole Liebelt said.

PG&E said crews were right to evacuate the home and that any time a customer believes they smell gas, to call 9-1-1. As for Lunghi, they said her meter was older and in need of additional repair.

"We are going to have another gas crew come out and actually make a full replacement of that valve set," Liebelt said.

Lunghi said she will be grateful to put the entire incident behind her and would like faster response from PG&E.

"We understand that our customer is frustrated with our process and we may have fallen short," Liebelt said.

PG&E stresses that crews at the scene followed protocol and that it is their protocol to ensure that the scene is safe and to make sure that "the appropriate gas crew is sent to the scene that day."
Related Topics:
gas leakPG&EevacuationhomeownershomeCastro Valley
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