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.
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