More than 1,000 residents of a northwest Indiana public housing complex have been left in a state of panic and uncertainty since authorities informed them last month that their homes must be destroyed because of serious lead contamination.

A warning went out this summer not to allow children to play in the dirt and to wash their toys because the soil is soaked with lead. It was the first time many of the residents of the low income West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago had heard plans to remove tainted soil that date back to at least 2012. Many are asking why they were not told earlier.

State Sen. Lonnie Randolph says, "Somebody dropped the ball somewhere."