Massive leak forces evacuation at Sarasota County RV park

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Sarasota county RV park was evacuated Thursday because of a leaking propane tank.

The Sarasota County Fire Department says late Thursday afternoon, a propane tanker pulled in to the Myakka River RV resort off of US 41 near North Port. Officials say the truck tried to offload the fuel at a transfer station. However, a valve froze over and started leaking.

Immediately, crews came in and evacuated around 30 homes. They also shut down portions of US 41 northbound and southbound.

Crews had to release around 800 gallons of propane gas, and it could’ve been extremely dangerous to the people in the nearby area.

“Propane is flammable, and it is heavier than air so it will hug the ground so we’re taking every precaution necessary to make sure it’s safe,” Sarasota County Fire Department chief Michael Regnier said.

Fire crews doused the leak with water to help prevent the gas from dissipating. County officials were constantly monitoring the air speed as well.

The leak was eventually capped around 6:30 p.m. When the area is determined to be safe and clear of the gas, people will be allowed to return to their homes.

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