Residents of a historic Detroit neighborhood have been complaining since November about a mysterious gas leak that was spewing out a strong, sulfur-like odor.
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On Monday, DTE responded almost immediately after the Motor City Muckraker revealed that the utility had stopped searching for the leak in Virginia Park despite persistent complaints and the potential for an explosion.
Crews toiled for hours, digging up the ground to discover the leak was coming from beneath the abandoned and dilapidated Hope Hospital, which was ravaged by scrappers last year.
“Our crew found an issue under the structure itself,” Alejandro Bodipo-Memba told me. “They repaired the leak.”
The overstretched fire department was called to the hospital several times but couldn’t do much, apart from calling DTE.
“We just verify a leak,” Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson said.
On Saturday, the odor was nauseating and strong, heightening concerns of residents who feared the worse.
Unaddressed gas leaks are very dangerous and can cause entire buildings to explode.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.