Gas leak delays drivers for hours

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SARASOTA COUNTY – A gas pipe bursts causing a three hour traffic delay on both sides of Tamiami Trail.

Sarasota County Fire Department reports they received a call for a natural gas leak around 3:30 P.M. Monday.

It happened on the 6300 block of Tamiami Trail in Sarasota as firefighters dug into the ground to find the source of the leak.

A utility company drilled into the ground striking the pipe by accident.

Nearby businesses evacuated from the scene to avoid the fumes.

Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier says Teco shut the gas off at three different locations to help stop the leak.

He says during the operation firefighters need to be kept fresh.

“Each of the firefighters had to be in full protective gear and also on air breathing contained air a bottle on their back and also shoveling.  So they were doing a lot of work themselves. What we want to do is try and rotate people just like a hockey game a professional hockey game where you’re in and out.  You’re going off and getting some rest while the next group comes in and does the work.”

No one suffered any injuries and traffic opened up around 6:30 P.M.