LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Contact 5 is digging deeper into what caused a gas line to suddenly rupture next to the Florida Turnpike near Lake Worth Road.
Security cameras at the Lake Worth Gold Mine caught the moment an 18-inch natural gas line ruptured Thursday morning.
Justin Levin said he fled from his business for safety.
“We looked out the window and saw the gas billowing up into the sky, we knew we had to get out of there right away,” Levin said. “We closed up the store in less than a minute and got out of here.”
The day after, Levin said he found pieces of concrete debris from the highway rupture on his property, and now he wants answers.
“I’d definitely like to see what the cause of this rupture was. Someone should be held accountable for what happened, it was really scary,” he said.
“We thought it was an earthquake the whole ceiling was shaking,” Ximena Coker said from her front door. She lives in a neighborhood about a block away from the turnpike.
“I want to know if it’s going to happen again. It’s scary, we didn’t sleep good last night,” she said.
Contact 5 reached out to Florida Gas Transmission to ask how and why this happened to a pipeline that runs from Texas to South Florida. A spokesperson sent a statement that reads in part, “the cause of the release is not known at this time” and promising a “thorough investigation into the matter.”
“Pulling up to work today, it’s like, you ask yourself is it going to happen again today, could it happen again today, it's nerve-wracking,” Levin said.
Read the full statement below:
“We experienced a release yesterday on our 18 inch natural gas transmission line that runs along the Florida Turnpike. This section of the pipeline was immediately shut in to isolate the incident area and safely stop the flow of gas. The gas was completely blown down in approximately 30 minutes. There were no injuries or interruptions to customer deliveries as the flow of natural gas was diverted to another pipeline in the system. The cause of the release is not known at this time, however there will be a thorough investigation into the matter."
A spokesperson at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection sent this statement to Contact 5:
"Yesterday, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was notified via the National Response Center of an unintentional natural gas release from the Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline in Palm Beach County and we are closely monitoring the situation. Although interstate pipelines are regulated at the federal-level and for safety purposes by the Public Service Commission, we are exploring all available options under state law."