PROPANE EXPLOSION: A CASE STUDY

03/01/2005
BY ERIC G. BACHMANOn Monday December 29, 2003, the Intercourse Fire Company of Leacock Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was dispatched to a building fire at a propane distribution facility. Multiple callers inundated the county 9-1-1 center with reports of a large explosion at the site. First-arriving fire units found a building demolished by an explosion and a sustained fire. Compounding the situation were multiple propane cylinders exposed to the intense heat and accountability of the facility employees. The exposed tanks ranged from 100-gallon portable cylinders to 30,000-gallon fixed bulk storage tanks. The incident required the response of fire departments from two counties:...

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