Parts of downtown Bunn evacuated after propane tank accident
Posted December 17, 2014
Bunn, N.C. — Authorities evacuated a large area of downtown Bunn early Wednesday after a propane tank fell into a hole that was being excavated at a work site, fire officials said.
The incident happened at about 5:30 a.m. as crews were working at an Exxon station in the 300 block of Main Street. Officials said a 500-gallon propane tank fell about 20 feet into a hole and began leaking.
The hole was dug as part of remediation work to clean up contaminated soil.
"The soil company was hired to come in, and they were doing the excavation work and yesterday, with all the rain, they had a trench collapse close to a (propane) filling station," Bunn Fire Department Capt. Larry Hill said.
Downtown businesses were evacuated, hazmat teams were called in and law enforcement officials blocked many roads leading into downtown Bunn.
"Our biggest thing was safety of the community and making sure we didn't have an ignition source anywhere," Hill said. "When the tank fell, it broke the line and there were safety valves in those things that shut off."
The gas escaped the tank and dissipated, he said.
Main Street was blocked north of downtown Bunn. N.C. Highway 98 was blocked off west and south of downtown. N.C. Highway 39 also blocked and reopened about 10:30 a.m.