Fire officials investigating gas fire in Coffee County
Second Update (12:30 PM) Spokesman Glenn Allen of the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has said that the gas fire has been ruled accidental and the cause is due to human error.Allen adds that crews plan to remove propane from the damaged vehicle on Tuesday.UPDATE (11:00 AM):
Coffee County Fire Chief confirms that fire crews were able to contain and stop the leak around 10 PM Monday evening.
Around 10 AM, officials with HAZMAT and the gas company were testing operations now that the leak has been stopped.
A total of three workers were injured in the explosion; two were transferred to the burn center in Augusta where they are receiving treatment. One male was treated at Coffee Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.
Coffee County Fire Chief Steve Carver says that around 2 PM they received a call that there was an explosion at the Ferrell Gas Company on Highway 32 East.Carver says they then sent out officials with the Coffee County Fire Department, Douglas Fire Department, and the Region 8 Hazmat Team.Captain Casey Wright, who works with both Douglas Fire and the Hazmat team, says they arrived on the scene to find a large residential propane delivery truck and a smaller service truck on fire.Carver says that two employees were transported to Coffee Regional Medical Center while a third employee drove himself with minor abrasions. The condition of those involved is unknown at this time.Wright says it took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control and put out. That's when officials realized that one of the tanks in the truck was still leaking. They were unable to stop the leak, instead they found a way to dilute it and let it empty on its own without causing other tanks to explode. This is expected to take several hours to finish.Wright says that it couldn't have happened in a better spot as the building and area was designed to handle a leak and residential homes are far enough away they don't have to worry about the leak. He commends his team for their quick response and their training allowed them to handle any ripple effects.The cause of the fire is still under investigation.Stay connected to MySouthWestGA.com as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31.