Crew accidentally drills into natural gas line at Siesta Towers condominium complex

Fire Department dispatches units to deal with gas leak

This aerial map shows the location of Siesta Towers on north Siesta Key. Image from Google Maps

A contractor working in the parking lot of Siesta Towers, a condominium complex on the north end of Siesta Key, accidentally bored into a 1.25-inch, TECO natural gas line on the afternoon of Sept. 5, the Sarasota County Fire Department reported.

Four Sarasota County Fire Department (SCFD) engines and two EMS units were sent to the scene to deal with the hazardous materials leak and containment, the Fire Department noted in its report on the incident.

Natural gas was released into the air and ground, the report’s narrative notes. “[C]ontinuous air monitoring” took place during the firefighters’ response, the report says.

The narrative indicates that the puncture of the line occurred approximately 12 feet from the hole into which the workers employed by SS Directional Boring had drilled. The company is based in Bryan, Ohio, its website says.

Under the Fire Department report heading “Factors Contributing to Release,” an SCFD official wrote, “Equipment not being operated properly.”

A section of the SS Directional Boring website explains, “Directional drilling allows for installation where other methods don’t. We provide turnkey services from start to finish with minimal excavation, saving you money and time.”

“The parking lot was dug up by [employees of the company] and SCFD crews,” the report says. The leak was “mitigated without issue,” it report adds.

After the scene was cleaned up, all of the Fire Department units were released, the report notes.

In all, the department dispatched 21 persons to the site. The engines from Fire Station 13 on Siesta Key and Fire Station 11, located just east of the island, on Stickney Point Road, arrived first, the report says. An engine from Fire Station 14, which stands at 8821 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, arrived at 2:06 p.m.

The alarm came in at 1:24 p.m., the report says, and the first unit arrived 7 minutes later.

The last unit cleared the scene at 2:56 p.m., the report notes.

Siesta Towers stands at 4822 Ocean Blvd., just north of Siesta Village.