5 Killed by Gas Blast
Butane gas, commonly used in rural sections where city gas service is not available, claimed five lives at Crowley, La., blew a-house and store from their foundations, and fired three other buildings.
A tank of about 600 gallons of the liquified gas was being unloaded at a filling station. While taking the tank from the truck, the discharge pipe and valve were broken off. Butane gas is heavier than air, and the gas spread out in all directions and hung close to the ground. It entered nearby homes.
Those in the nearby houses were ordered to evacuate due to the possibility of an explosion. When the first explosion came as the result of the fumes coming in contact with a trash burner, all those living nearby had left for safer points, that is, all “but five persons in a dwelling back of the filling station. In all. there were four explosions with the last being so severe that it was heard several miles distant.
The gas is manufactured at oil distilleries and the gas is changed into a liquid when it is compressed. It was because of the pressure within the tanks that the gas spread so rapidly.