Firefighters pushed cars from the scene to avoid starting engines near the escaping propane gas. No injuries were reported. | Austin Nelson

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Gas leak halts traffic

Published 11:30am Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Alabama Department of Transportation Fourth Division headquarters was evacuated late Friday afternoon after a propane leak was discovered.

No injuries were reported.

According to Alexander City Fire Department Chief Kem Jones that leak began in the back of the building.

“We were informed that it is a 1,000 gallon propane tank – the line ruptured above the valve,” Jones said.

Emergency personnel evacuated a nearby trailer park, which bordered the back of the facility, as well.

Joe Paul Boone, director of Tallapoosa County Emergency Management Agency, said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management was notified of the incident.

Traffic on east and westbound U.S. Hwy. 280 was redirected along Washington Street and Old Dark Road to bypass the scene of the leaking tank.

Blossman Propane employees were called to the scene but were unable to stop the leak.

“The Blossman inspector has already gone and looked at it,” Jones said. “There is nothing left to do except secure the scene and let it continue to vaporize.”

The propane tank was used to fuel vehicles and forklifts for ALDOT.