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Construction crew ruptures gas line

By Times staff writer
Published March 14, 2007


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TAMPA - Workers using heavy equipment to install a stormwater pipe in Ybor City hit a natural gas line at Ninth Avenue and 15th Street on Tuesday, Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Bill Wade said.

Occupants of nearby buildings evacuated about 11:15 a.m. Officials had capped the leak by 1 p.m.

But Dean Delriccio, owner of Rock N Sports Bar and Grill on Eighth Avenue and 15th Street, didn't get his gas back on until after 3 p.m., he said.

This wasn't the first time the stormwater project affected Delriccio's business.

When the project broke ground in January outside his restaurant, Delriccio said he lost more than $20,000 because nobody wanted to eat near the construction. He had to lay off two employees and feared closing.

Workers moved on to another block in February, and Delriccio's business recovered.

But Tuesday, as people waited for their food, he had to close his doors. He missed the lunchtime rush and said one of his servers got sick from the fumes.

"It's just one more thing," Delriccio said. "It's frustrating."

City officials say the $2.7-million 72-inch drainage pipe will end flooding in Ybor City.

[Last modified March 14, 2007, 01:04:36]


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