Florida Gas Leak after Line Struck During I-4 Ultimate Project
It is not clear whether or not any injuries were sustained this past Monday when an unnamed construction worker operating a large piece of equipment on the I-4 Ultimate Project in Altamonte Springs struck a gas pipe lying underneath the ground affected during the expansion of the major traffic artery. Reports indicate that the incident happened before the rush-hour commute began, and the subsequent lane closures caused massive disruptions along the I-4 route.
While spokespeople for SGL, the company responsible for striking the gas pipe, have yet to issue an official statement in regards to the issue, we do know that it involved one of their employees. This employee was operating a large piece of equipment when they struck the gas line and prompted a leak of highly volatile and potentially toxic gas into the air.
Cherie Jacobs is a spokesperson for TECO, which owns the pipe underneath the ground. According to Jacobs, the pipe in question was lying somewhere around 24 feet below the surface of the earth, making it somewhat surprising that the worker was able to reach it at all. Jacobs also indicated that the pipe, which was only installed around one year ago, is not the first one to be inside of the construction area. This means that SGL had managed to avoid all the other gas pipes located near the I-4 Ultimate Project. Finally, TECO claims that all of the gas lines—the one involved in Monday’s incident included—were well marked.
In other words, authorities are still scratching their heads regarding the incident and area, as of the time of this writing, not certain as to why the employee was instructed to dig in the area where they were digging. It is possible that a manager for the company failed to study the area carefully enough before sending the employee to dig at the designated site. It is also possible that the employee operating the excavating equipment failed to fully examine the instructions given and began to excavate an area at a depth not required or instructed.
As stated above, it is not believed that any injuries were sustained in the incident, although it is possible that employees located near the area suffered exposure to toxic chemicals in the aftermath of the incident.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.