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Risk of Gas Line Explosion Prompts Meeting Between HCFR and Utility Project Officials

SPRING HILL – Over the last two months, residents and businesses along Mariner Blvd have faced evacuations and fear of explosion, after gas lines were punctured on three separate occasions.

The first occurred on June 24th at the intersection of Mariner Blvd and Marquette Street, that forced the evacuation of several homes and closed Mariner Blvd for about 12-hours. It was later determined that a sub-contractor for AT&T was responsible for fracturing a TECO gas line.

Three days after the first incident, Fire Rescue responded to the intersection of Mariner Blvd and Northcliffe Blvd, where they were forced to shut down the roadway for about two-hours. Officials say the same sub-contractor is responsible for the Northcliffe Blvd puncture and it was also a TECO gas line.

Just over a week ago today, Fire Rescue responded to Mariner Blvd and Elgin Blvd, after a sub-contractor for the same AT&T project punctured an Amerigas propane gas line. At least 4 homes were evacuated and the intersection was closed for over an hour.

We spoke to Hernando County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief, Kevin Carroll, who said “These incidents require an immense amount of resources and we are trying to get to the bottom of the problem.” Carroll could not specify who is directly responsible for the causing the fractures because AT&T uses multiple “Subs of Sub Contractors.” Carroll also says, “There is definitely risk of fire or explosion and it’s only a matter of time before that happens.”

HCFR, AT&T, and other County Officials are planning to meet this week to try and resolve the issue.

I asked Carroll if fines will be levied against those responsible or if the project could be halted altogether, due to safety concerns for the community. Carroll said, “We will be considering all the above during a meeting this week.”

Meanwhile, the digging will continue along Mariner Blvd…

RNRF will continue to follow new developments.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.

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Comments
  • NO MEETING REQUIRED JUST CALL 811 B 4 U DIG

    Friday, 11 August 2017, 6:17 am
  • I remember 20 years ago, went through the same stuff when they widened Tampa Rd in Palm Harbor. The subcontractors continuously hit the natural gas lines. After the first couple of incidents, we realized its not that big of a deal and handled it with one fire engine standing by while gas company fixed leak. Its natural gas which dissipates rapidly and is lighter than air of and shouldn’t require a tremendous amount of resources to handle.

    Wednesday, 9 August 2017, 12:31 pm
  • Once is an accident. Three times is improper training. With that said, I once was a cable sub and not everything in the ground is at the depth it’s supposed to be. All this work is “sub” to save money. You would think after the second “accident” some kind of supervisor would have been on site to see what the hell these guys are doing.

    Wednesday, 9 August 2017, 10:24 am
  • Meetings will occur. They need to get plane tickets for vacations..Hernando pay for play. That’s how planning works.

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 10:19 pm
  • Some years ago I worked for a underground utilities com. and we installed a water main parallel to a natural gas main. The gas main was located for us, which was fairly accurate. However we used a steel probe and shovel as we dug an open trench. We were a little nervous but caution worked on our behalf. We had used directional boring with great success. These utility right-of-ways sometimes have gas lines,water,sewer,cable and traffic control power lines in close proximity of each other. Code does dictate distances and depths but is only as good as the inspector and contractor adhering to the codes. You don’t take anything for granted when digging around gas!!!! Directional boring does save money in most instances. Maybe this is extremely bad luck or inexperience and I imagine the contractor is on the hook.

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 7:03 pm
  • Someone has to die before anything get down,unless the county is brought to court nothing will change.Too bad.

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 5:41 pm
  • I was on Mariner today and it took 25 minutes to go from Elgin Blvd. to Cortez. The contractor had a 2 1/2 mile stop and go traffic back up. I have never seen such incompetence in this county. Doesn’t Hernando Counnty have any Project Managers to oversee these projects.

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 4:12 pm
  • They definitely should be on the hook for investigative costs and reimbursement of Fire,Sheriff and any other costs associated with these incidents. The Sheriff charges to investigate traffic accidents and etc to the citizens of the county, why not big businesses?

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 2:52 pm
  • I don’t understand why contractors are having such a problem with gas lines. You would think that before anyone who even thought about digging would have contacted or would have contracted themselves to locate all of the gas line, cable lines and any other lines that may be underground. I know that I had a new lawn in and the cable company came and marked their lines, the propane people came and marked where their under ground tank was located and who ever else had anything underground on my property did what they have to do. I am not sure if the same thing would apply for these bigger jobs but they have to do something to prevent further problems. I personally worry because I live one block off Mariner and have 2-150 gallon propane tanks in my front yard and I hope an emergency like this doesn’t occur and I am in more of a dangerous situation than those that do not have propane underground.

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 2:51 pm
  • AT&T is responsible. They make so much money but sounds like they contract with the cheapest people they can hire to do their bidding. AT&T should be on the job doing the necessary repairs at their cost and they can sue the people they hired to recoup it. Not our fault, we didn’t hire the inferior workers. It needs to be dealt with immediately before someone is badly injured or killed following their bad judgement. You know they’ll just raise the cost of services to their customers to pay for the repairs. No meeting necessary.

    Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 2:03 pm

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