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Treasure tales lead to Florida toxic leak

UPI News Service, 11/22/2007 

A 16-year-old boy in Riverview, Fla., had tales of treasure in his head when he drilled into an ammonia pipeline earlier this month and caused a toxic leak.

Local resident Vanessa Fellion said that when she passed along her late brother's tales of hidden treasure inside the pipeline to her son and one of his friends, she never thought it would lead to a massive chemical leak, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

The 27-year-old mother said her brother, a convicted criminal who committed suicide in September, told her that she would be set for life if she ever checked under a local Alafia River bridge.

But Fellion said she never truly believed her brother and was shocked to learn that a 16-year-old who had heard the story believed it enough to drill into the pipeline.

"Crazy," she said. "It was totally stupid on their part. If you see a pipe that's capped, it's capped for a reason."

The Times said the pipeline transports ammonia from a port in Tampa, Fla., to Polk County, where it is used to make fertilizer.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International


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