In 2008, Carletta Davis and others in 8 Mile were told the gas leak that happened was nothing to worry about. Fast forward to today, she claims hundreds of people in the area suffer from health issues.
“The association is still taking the stance that we need to have outside investigation done,” says Davis.
They’re pleading with health officials to get involved. They say mercaptan, a toxic chemical, was leaked and is now in the ground and water system. Mobile Gas has invited the residents of 8 Mile to tour their facilities and observe the care they’re taking, but Davis says it’s too late.
“We still smell this mercaptan in our community and it’s not working, whatever your efforts are, it’s not working,” says Davis.
Linda Burke’s granddaughter, Shakeira Hunt is on several medications for asthma. She also suffers from severe nose bleeds. All of which they blame on the mercaptan leak.
“When she go out in the yard and play, just think of the kids out there playing in the yard, they want to go out to the park, they want to go out and just have fun in the summer. But then you have to come back in and deal with a nose bleed,” says Burke.
Mobile Gas cannot comment on the issue because of current litigation. The group has tried hiring attorneys in the past, but the outcome was always a settlement that got nothing done.
“I just think we need help down here and I know that there’s help out there for us. And we want that help,” says Burke.
Now that President Obama has added mercaptan to the list of toxic substances, they hope they can get an investigation and finally some answers.
“We are real people down here and this is a real serious situation and that we have health ramifications of this chemical and it needs to be priority number one,” says Davis.
Mobile Gas is offering tours of their abatement center to 8 Mile residents only.
If you want to take the tour, if you have to register and you can do that at Highpoint Baptist Church. There is a signup sheet in the lobby. They urge everyone in the community to sign up.