PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Family members of a man killed in a South Philly home explosion have filed a wrongful death suit against Philadelphia Gas Works. It alleges that the city-owned utility is moving at a glacial pace to replace old pipelines that put their relatives and city residents at risk.
Brian Diu’s family says the city was negligent and that they knew the pipes were damaged but did nothing to fix them. They say all they want is justice.READ MORE: What We Know And Don't Know About The Omicron Variant
“Bottom line is that this is just not right,” said Connie Diu, Brian’s sister.
The Diu family wants it fixed. Connie Diu was in her family’s house on South 8th Street, near Dickinson, when it exploded in 2019. The blast killed her 28-year-old brother, Brian.
“We literally lost everything overnight,” she said.
The house exploded on a frigid December day in 2019. In the days that followed, PGW confirmed the gas main was 92 years old.
The suit claims the city and PGW knew the pipes along South 8th Street were corroding and did nothing to fix the problem. In their suit, the Dius and their lawyer describe it as a ticking time bomb.READ MORE: Shopping Online This Holiday Season? Why You Need To Protect Yourself
“We call upon PGW to identify the at-risk gas mains, to warn the homeowners who live along those at-risk mains, and to expedite the repair and replacement of those mains so that tragedies like this don’t happen again,” attorney Steve Wigrizer said.
The lawsuit claims old pipes lead to thousands of gas leaks every year throughout the city. This explosion still impacts the neighborhood two years later.
“It’s a shame the way that happened. I knew some of the people in that house. Really a shame,” neighbor Carmen Polutro said.
Sixty-five-year-old Rudy Kambong was also killed.
In a phone conversation, his family’s lawyer, Warren Siegel, said they plan to file their lawsuit within the next week. He said they want to save others’ lives. Connie Diu offered similar sentiments.
“It’s so scary. It’s something we don’t want anyone else to go through,” she said.MORE NEWS: Temple Fires Rod Carey As Head Football Coach After 3 Seasons
PGW did not comment on this specific lawsuit. But they said they invest $85 million every year to make sure all systems are working properly.