Published: Apr 13, 2011 11:31 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 13, 2011 4:47 PM EDT

The federal government is blaming Posen Construction for causing the massive gas line explosion and fine in Ft. Myers last Nov. 11.   The  Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration  -- OSHA -- is fining Posen 70-thousand dollars for a willful violation of safety rules.  That is the maximum fine allowed by law.

"Posen knew there was a gas line along the roadside, but did not take steps to locate the line, before sending in heavy equipment to till the dirt along Colonial Blvd.," said Michael Wald of the Dept of Labor in Atlanta.   Labor oversees OSHA.

The blast and fire cut off gas service to thousands of customers, including some businesses, for days.

Posen would not comment on the findings.  

Mario Santos still is recovering from severe burns, suffered in the inferno.    Santos was operating the machine that ruptured the 8-inch gas line, owned by TECO gas.