COLUMBIA, South Carolina — The Columbia Housing Authority owns and operates the gas lines at Allen Benedict Court. That is was South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) explained in a statement on Tuesday.
Allen Benedict Court, which is made up of 244 units, housing 411 tenants, was evacuated on January 18th following the deaths of two men in separate apartments and reports of gas leaks.
News 19 did a brief dive into work orders in 2018 and found reports of gas leaks and tenants smelling gas. The work orders were addressed within 24 hours by the Columbia Housing Authority's maintenance team.
News 19 then reached out to SCE&G to ask if they were ever called out to Allen Benedict Court. They explained that the last called to the property on September 1, 2018. However, when they arrived, the Columbia Fire Department was already on the scene and had located the isolated leak. They then handed the situation over to the Columbia Housing Authority.
SCE&G gave a statement about who controls the gas lines at Allen Benedict Court:
"SCE&G, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy, is committed to providing natural gas to customers in a safe, reliable manner. We maintain our gas lines in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline Safety regulations. SCE&G supplies natural gas to the Columbia Housing Authority through a master meter, which is a small pipeline system that distributes natural gas to a particular area such as an apartment complex.
The Columbia Housing Authority owns and operates the gas lines that run from the master meter into homes under its jurisdiction. The Columbia Housing Authority also maintains all of the piping serving the individual residences. Safety is our top priority. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately, warn others to stay away, and from a safe place, call 911 and SCE&G at 800-815-0083."