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Explosions Rock Blue Rhino Propane Plant in Florida
Equipment failure and human error likely caused propane tank cylinders to explode at a central Florida refilling plant late Monday, a fire official said Tuesday.
The blasts at the Blue Rhino plant in Tavares injured eight plant workers, said John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
The situation is now contained and an evacuation order issued overnight has been lifted, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said in a news release.
Residents nearby saw a pulsating glow in the sky. One Tavares resident, Norma Haygood, told CNN affiliate WESH it felt like "bombs going off."
The fire was out by 2 a.m., three hours after the explosions began, and authorities are investigating the cause, according to Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith.
Keith, who lives a few miles away from the fire, said he "knew it was bad right off the bat."
"It truly sounded like a car hit our house," he said.
There had been earlier reports of 15 missing workers, but all 15 were found safe, Keith said. Some had fled the scene; some drove themselves to hospitals.
No residents were hurt, authorities said.