COLUMBIA, S.C. — Following the deaths of two people and reports of gas leaks at a Columbia apartment complex, a city councilman is calling for action.

Last week 411 residents were forced from their homes at Allen Benedict Court due to multiple gas leaks. Two people also died at that same complex earlier in the week — an incident that Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah called "preventable" in a statement Thursday.

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Baddourah said the fact that "residents remained in the apartments despite a number of complaints about gas leak smells indicates, at the very least, negligence."

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The councilman says he believes a "resignation or resignations are in order, including the resignation of the Authority director." The current director of the Columbia Housing Authority is Gilbert Walker.

He went on to justify his belief claiming, "It’s important to have confidence in the Authority’s leadership during the process of finding accommodations for those who have been displaced. Furthermore, citizens should have the peace of mind that adequate accountability is in place to prevent a similar tragedy in the future."

A special city council meeting has been proposed by the councilman to discuss further actions.

Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah's full statement:

"To all my fellow council members  

We were all saddened to learn about the deaths of two of our residents last week at the Allen Benedict Court apartments. It was especially disheartening to learn just how preventable this tragedy was.

That residents remained in the apartments despite a number of complaints about gas leak smells indicates, at the very least, negligence. Frankly, someone must be held accountable.

While City Council lacks direct oversight over the Authority, we do have indirect oversight through the selection of Commissioners. I propose a special City Council meeting to discuss our options for imposing accountability.

Personally, and after very careful consideration, I believe a resignation or resignations are in order, including the resignation of the Authority director.  It’s important to have confidence in the Authority’s leadership during the process of finding accommodations for those who have been displaced. Furthermore, citizens should have the peace of mind that adequate accountability is in place to prevent a similar tragedy in the future."