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Massive explosions reported at central Florida propane plant

31 July 2013

On July 30 several explosions destroyed part of the Blue Rhino propane plant in Tavares, Florida, causing a massive fireball. Eight people were injured, with at least four in critical condition. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation, as has the Florida State Fire Marshal’s office.

The Blue Rhino plant refilled propane tanks mainly for domestic use. There were reportedly some 53,000 propane canisters at the plant when the explosion happened.

Blue Rhino is a subsidiary of Kansas-based national propane provider Ferrellgas. A spokesman said there were 14 full-time employees and 10 part-time workers in the plant when the explosions occurred.

According to AP, Ferrellgas paid a $2,295 fine in November 2011 following an OSHA inspection that found a component at the end of an air hose used in the consumer tank refurbishing process was not present.

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