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Illinois UPS facility blast injures two, one seriously

16 February 2018

A slow leak in a propane tank in a trailer that stored five forklifts is believed to have caused an early morning explosion on February 15 at a UPS Freight facility in Rock Island, Illinois. One man was taken to the hospital with "serious, but non-life-threatening injuries," according to Rock Island Fire Marshal Greg Marty. Another was treated at the scene, he said. 

Marty estimated damage to the trailer and the nearby office area at about $100,000. A door had broken glass and two windows inside the office area blew out, he said. There also was some ceiling damage and the trailer suffered significant damage.

Based on interviews, Marty said it is believed the explosion occurred when the injured man went to start the forklifts and warm them up. A slow leak from at least one of the propane tanks had caused the gas to pool on the floor of the trailer.

All of the forklifts appeared to be in good condition with similar amounts of fuel, Marty said, making it hard to pinpoint which forklift might have had the propane leak.

UPS Freight Communications manager Chris Yohn confirmed there was an explosion at the facility in Rock Island. He said UPS is working with authorities to confirm the cause of the incident.

“The safety of our people is UPS’s first priority,” his statement read.


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