Published On: Tue, Jul 30th, 2013

Florida Blue Rhino propane facility explosion leaves five in critical condition

Propane canisters exploded in Lake County Florida injuring at least eight and forcing evacuations of residents in the mile radius of the Blue Rhino facility.

Firefighters and paramedics treated a total of nine patients late Monday and into Tuesday morning.

Blue Rhino Tavares explosion FloridaFive of those are in critical condition, according to Jerry Smith, Lake Emergency Medical Services interim executive director, who briefed commissioners mid-Tuesday morning.

The blasts, which continued for about four hours, began around 11 p.m. at the gas plant located on County Road 448. Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders said the blasts occurred inside the plant and blew the roof off the building.  The explosions were so big that they showed up on radar, with a green swath showing the change in temperatures.

More than 50,000 propane cylinders — similar to ones used for back yard grills — were scattered throughout the plant and caught fire, each exploding into the air.  Witnesses said the 20-pound tanks shot up to 300 feet in the air.

“At one point in time it was really big.  Then it dies down and then about 5 minutes ago, it blew up.  It blew up again even worse, so hopefully it’ll keep dying down,” said witness Cody Rhoades to news 4 in Jacksonville.



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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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