At 11:05 Thursday morning, Monroe County Fire Rescue responded to a pressure leak of one of two 18,000-gallon storage/distribution tanks at the AmeriGas plant on Big Pine Key.
The plant manager is on scene and has closed all valves in an attempt to balance the pressure between the tanks. The leaking tank is about 45 percent full of liquid propane. The pressure valve on the top of the tank continues to operate. So far, only vapors are leaking.
Monroe County has deployed a Blitz monitor, which basically is an unmanned water hose that can provide water when needed to dilute the escaping gas vapors and decrease the chance of those vapors igniting. This allows all fire rescue personnel to be outside of the perimeter fence for safety, Monroe County Deputy Fire Marshal Craig Marston said.
AmeriGas has dispatched delivery trucks to the scene to remove the liquid propane from the tanks, which should relieve the pressure and cause the pressure valve to close. They are expected to arrive around 2 p.m.
Photo by Craig Marston, Monroe County Deputy Fire Marshal