Reported By: Britt L
Monday night in Tavares, Florida, eight employees were injured after several large propane tanks exploded at the Blue Rhino gas plant. At least four of the victims are now in critical condition.
Forty miles northwest of Orlando, a total of 53,000 twenty-pound cylinders exploded at about 11 PM.
Fire officials in Florida said that roughly 26 people were scheduled to work at the gas plant when the massive explosion broke out. All of the employees who worked that night are accounted for and are reported to be alive according to ABC news.
Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith stated that the fire department believes the explosions happened because of ”human error” and it was a total accident.
Citizens from the neighboring city Mount Dora told ABC News that they were the first to witness the explosion.
“You could definitely see the fire from across the lake. It was humongous even from seven miles away,” said Ashley McCormick, a resident of Dora. “You could hear the explosions, just one after another and then after it would explode, a fireball would shoot up into the sky.”
Blake Cottle of Dora even heard the loud booms echoing for miles away.
“I have heard tons of booms for at least 30 minutes,” explained Cottle.
Fire officials said there are 50 homes around the plant that were immediately evacuated. LT Herrell of the Florida Fire Department said that the public shouldn’t be alarmed about propane being released into the air because of the explosion.
There were no fatalities reported, and the workers that were there during the explosion were in the front of the plant, not near the actual explosion.
The Orlando Regional Medical Center received three male patients listed in critical condition and being treated for minor burns. Shands Hospital in Taveres said they are treating a person in critical condition.
We pray for their full recovery.