Reisdents in a part of Wilton were evacuated Friday evening after a major gas leak from a propane tank at AmeriGas. Reverse 911 calls were made and people were moved to the Wilton Fire Department. Our Karen Tararache has more on what happened.
WILTON, N.Y. -- It has taken the efforts of the Wilton Fire Department, Greenfield, Gansevoort, South Glens Falls, Malta Fire Departments and the Saratoga County Sherriff Department to make sure this was a safely contained propane leak.
Wilton Fire Department Chief Bill Morgan explained, "Liquid propane is like liquid nitrogen. It actually is so cold, the pictures I see of the valve are frozen which is helping slow the leaking process down."
Around 5:00PM, Friday, a 17,000 gallon above ground tank began to leak propane. Four employees at the AmeriGas facility off of Ballard Road in Wilton notified authorities immediately.
"We went through every building, door to door to evacuate the people from a dozen different businesses. The Sheriff's department went around to Gurn Spring Road and Dimmick Road to evacuate citizens," Morgan said.
Reverse 911 calls were sent and those evacuated were told to head to the Wilton Fire Department while engineers at AmeriGas worked to contain the leak.
Morgan added, "What AmeriGas will have to do is to empty that tank. And when the tank is empty, they'll burn the gas off and service the tank."
Fortunately two other half empty tanks on premises were able to accommodate the thousands of gallons of propane.
"We secured the area, we've evacuated and if there's a leak we need a lot of water to slow it down and stop it, dissipate it, push it out and that's what we are here for," Morgan said.
When the tank was about a third of the way empty a crack in the pipe of the propane tank spread to two inches wide and water was used to push the propane into the air to help it dissipate faster.
After several hours, the tank was finally emptied and the gas burned off. Reverse 911 calls also let residents know it was safe to return home.