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Church gas line breaks, those responsible refuse to fix it

ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas church has been functioning without gas for more than a year.

They said their gas line was punctured during railroad construction behind their church.
Now they're desperate to get it fixed before another cold winter takes a toll on their congregation.

"We don't understand. They broke it, why don't they fix it?" said Green Bay A.M.E. Church Reverend Edward Hunt.

Reverend Hunt said when the railroad replaced the cross ties on the track, they hired a contractor to pick up the old ones.
He said that contractor left heavy machinery on the side of the tracks, and it started to sink.

"It stayed there about two weeks and when they pulled the machine out, it broke the gas line to the church," Hunt said.

The machine sat alongside the tracks back February in 2010. It's long gone, but the problem remains.

And the last thing Green Bay A.M.E. church wants is another winter without gas.

"Our oldest one here is about 98 years old and she doesn't come in the winter because it's too cold out here," Reverend Hunt said.

"We're going to lose members if we don't get some gas," said church secretary Mary Hutchinson.

"We have done what we are supposed to do, but we just can't get the service," Tommy Myers, Tenth Episcopal District State Trustee, said.

They've mailed, emailed and called both the railroad and the contractor multiple times... trying to get answers.
In a letter, the railroad claims the contractor is responsible for the damage.
But the contractor tells KLTV 7, a plumber surveyed the site and said the gas line break is under the tracks. They said train traffic broke the gas line... not their equipment parked on the side.

KLTV checked on the status of the church's claim with the railroad and found their claim had been closed.

"We need gas as much as any other church needs gas in their church, all we ask them for is help," said Myers.

And until they find that help, this small church is left feeling frustrated and ignored.

Even the Anderson County Sheriff told us he has tried stepping in to get the contractor and the railroad to cooperate.
He said he has not had any success, either.

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