A gas leak was reported Thursday morning at 635 Old Christiana Road. When units from the Christiana Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) and Rutherford County Fire and Rescue arrived, it was learned that a bush hog had struck a 500 gallon underground propane tank.
According to Incident Commander Captain Larry Sloan, "The bush hog was resting on top of the tank which severely damaged the tank valves allowing vapors to escape from the tank."
Rutherford County EMA (Emergency Management Agency) was called to the scene, and additional manpower from Rutherford County EMS Special Operations Response Team (Emergency Medical Services) was also requested.
Crews cleared the immediate vicinity for safety, and deployed hose lines to try and control the spread of vapors to a nearby house. Due to a lack of hydrants in the area, a tanker shuttle was required, and additional units were requested from the Fosterville VFD and nearby Bedford County.
When personnel from Amerigas arrived, the bush hog was removed from the tank, and the decision was made to allow the tank to empty naturally while continuing to control the vapors with water spray. The operation was concluded without injuries or risk to public safety.
Propane is a liquefied, compressed gas which will produce flammable gas that will easily ignite when exposed to an ignition source. Propane vapors are also heavier than air and will collect in low lying areas such as ditches. Propane is flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including open flames, smoking materials, electrical sparks, and static electricity.