TAVARES, Fla. (WJLA) -- The video of a massive fire at a Florida propane plant is shocking. The local sheriff’s office says that 53,000 propane cylinders – the kind that power your backyard barbeque -- were stored at the plant, and they went up in flames during a series of chain reaction explosions overnight that sent fireballs up to 200 feet in the air.
Fire crews managed to protect three 33,000-lb propane gas tanks, working through the night putting out the fire. In the daylight, the facility is still smoldering and littered with exploded propane canisters.
Investigators say human error equipment failure could have caused the blast – they do not suspect sabotage.
At least eight workers at the Blue Rhino Propane Plant were hurt, some badly burned, and at least four are in critical condition. Two dozen people were working the night shift when the explosions happened, and all have been accounted for as of Tuesday.
OSHA says it is launching an investigation, and the state fire marshal is searching for the cause of the fire. A Blue Rhino spokesman says the company is praying for its injured employees and pledging to work with investigators.