Explosions, Flames Erupt At Florida Propane Gas Plant - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Explosions, Flames Erupt At Florida Propane Gas Plant

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Tavares, FL -

For hundreds of families near a propane gas plant, a half hour northwest of Orlando, it was a frightening night. The first round of explosions rocked their peace and quiet at 11:30 p.m. Monday night...and continued for half an hour. After midnight, the blasts started back up again.

"I thought the whole house shook..the windows shook...everything..." says one resident.

Giant waves of smoke filled the night sky and authorities were telling residents the air was safe to breath. At least eight workers at the Blue Rhino propane plant were hurt in the blasts, as they scrambled for cover, some of them were badly burned. As of Tuesday morning, at least (four) are in critical condition after being rushed by helicopters to the closest hospitals.

"I heard a loud boom and it sounded like a car had driven into my house," says a resident.

Blue Rhino, the company that sells the propane tanks, had a crew of about 25 people working at the plant when the explosions began. At one point, they feared the worst, but Tuesday morning, officials are reporting that no one was killed in the blasts.

"I was outside in my driveway looking at the orange plumes and the flashes in the sky...hearing the booms...so it is in no doubt a miracle...that no one has been reported as having died," says John Herrell, of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Fifty homes were evacuated a mile out from the plant. Some spent the night in a church shelter, but the families are safe. Now, uthorities say the fire is contained, and won't spread.

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