Terminal cancer patient believed Aliso Canyon gas leak caused to her illness


Susie Kimmel was a teacher for 27 years at Castlebay Lane Elementary School in Porter Ranch. Sadly, she died two weeks ago after suffering from bladder and bone cancer.

Castlebay Elementary is just miles from the Aliso Canyon methane leak, which started in October 2015 and wasn't capped until February 2016.

It belched out 109,000 metric tons of methane and displaced more than 7,000 Porter Ranch residents for months.

The leak also lead to a number of health issued complaints, ranging from headaches to cancer.

Kimmel believed the leak caused her cancer.

She was diagnosed one year after the leak:

“That’s when I started getting all my symptoms, rashes, headaches, I would have shortness of breath, my ears would ring it was terrible."

She told CBS2's David Goldstein, before she died, that she believed staff and students may have already been in danger years before the leak. She also wondered if millions of gallons of gas stored at Aliso Canyon had been released into the air for years:

"I was calling my school office in the building because it was hard to breathe. I would call the office and say my room smells like gas, the hallway smells like gas.”

She also believed Porter Ranch was being lied to:

"I think they’re lying to people. They keep saying it’s safe, it’s safe.”

Kimmel was one of six teachers at Castlebay Lane to be diagnosed with cancer since 2007. 

Read more of David Goldstein's story at CBS 2.


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