published Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

NTSB links apartment explosion to gas leak

Officials examine the scene following a pre-dawn natural gas explosion at a Gate City apartment complex in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013.
Officials examine the scene following a pre-dawn natural gas explosion at a Gate City apartment complex in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. β€” Federal officials say they've linked a fatal apartment explosion in Birmingham to a gas leak.

Authorities have said an early morning explosion rocked an apartment complex early Tuesday morning and a woman was killed when a slab of concrete fell onto her as she slept.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said Wednesday that a portion of the pipe the leak has been traced to will be taken to a lab for evaluation.

Officials said the leak appears to have come from a 2 ΒΌ inch cast iron pipe that was installed in 1951.

NTSB investigator Ravindra Chhatre says the agency is conducting pressure tests on other gas lines in the area and has found two other small leaks in the neighborhood.

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