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Propane Tank Leak Causes Evacuation Near Arundel Mills Mall

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(Credit: CBS)

(Credit: CBS)

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HANOVER, Md. (WJZ) — A major gas leak near a popular mall brought hazmat crews to the scene.

Weijia Jiang has more.

Emergency crews spent several hours on the scene, trying to contain the leak, while many nearby businesses were forced to shut down.

Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, hazmat crews rushed to Arundel Mills Circle to find 250 gallons of propane leaking from a cylinder.  Firefighters say the tank fell from a forklift during construction work and a valve broke.

“The road is completely blocked off; you can’t get through.  Cars are making U-turns,” said Karen Campbell.

“There are a lot of fire trucks, a lot of police,” said Falguni Davey.

Hazmat teams monitored the highly flammable gas to make sure pockets weren’t forming.

“We have to make sure the gas doesn’t accumulate in a certain area to where it reaches an explosive limit, to where it could ignite with a spark,” said Fire Department Captain James Rostek.

Rostek says businesses within a half-mile radius, including a fast food restaurant, gas pumps at a wholesale store and a jewelry shop, were evacuated as crews tried to plug the leak.  Rostek says the tank—which was only 25 percent full—emptied on its own after four hours, with no dangerous accumulation. 

Shoppers like Karen Campbell still worry.

“You never know what could happen.  It’s a tank filled with propane.  It could have maybe exploded,” Campbell said.

Arundel Mills Shopping Mall and some single family homes are near the site, but were not affected.  Still, responders stayed on scene as the tank was cleared away just in case.

No one was injured. All the impacted businesses are open again.

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