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Florida gas plant fire: Workers’ miraculous escape

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All workers at a Florida gas plant rocked by a series of explosions have been accounted for after as many as 15 were initially feared killed, US authorities have said.

Police said all employees at the Blue Rhino propane plant had been accounted for and that no fatalities had been reported. Seven people were injured and taken to local hospitals.

Earlier reports had said 15 workers were missing after the blasts, but all were later found safe.

The Blue Rhino plant refills propane tanks typically used for barbecues and other uses. Authorities said there are usually 53,000 20lb propane tanks at the factory.

A crew of 24 to 26 people were working at the plant on an overnight shift when the explosions happened.

Video footage showed fires burning through trucks used to transport propane tanks, which were parked at the plant. The fire was sending plumes of smoke into the air nearly two hours after the blast. Emergency crews could also be seen massing nearby.

An evacuation zone was initially a one-mile radius but had been reduced to half a mile. No injuries were reported from residents in the area, though some people reportedly heard the explosions ten miles away.

According to the Leesburg Daily Commercial, the plant was built in 2004 and employs fewer than 50 people.

 
 
 

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