100 residents evacuated after Goodyear gas leak

Posted at 6:31 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 20:50:37-05

Southwest Gas is investigating what caused a gas leak in a Goodyear neighborhood near Litchfield Road and Van Buren Street Monday night.

Goodyear fire tells ABC15 the piping is part of an older infrastructure and appeared to have cracked. 

"It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about 'what if' someone was unlucky like me," said Jason Nelson, who narrowly survived a gas explosion in 2014.

Nelson was fixing up a rental home in Gilbert when he went into the garage to take a break and lit a cigarette. 

"The next thing I remember after lighting it was that my hair was on fire and there was buzzing in my ear. I didn't realize there was actually a natural gas explosion," recalls Nelson. 

Nelson was rushed to the hospital with burns over 80 percent of this body, some areas charred right through the muscle. 

"I saw him. It did not look like him. I just couldn't believe that it was happening," said Tammy Yohe, Nelson's girlfriend. 

"It's a struggle every day. There's pain every day, there's disfigurement and stares wondering what happened," said Nelson. 

ABC15 asked Southwest Gas if the piping in Goodyear was the same piping used in other parts of the Valley that has been plagued with issues. 

Sonia Headen, a spokesperson with Southwest Gas told ABC15 it is not. The piping is different and is now being tested to see why it cracked. 

Southwest Gas crews last inspected the piping earlier this year in February.