Faulty valve caused propane gas leak in Westmoreland County

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A malfunctioning valve caused propane gas to leak from a tank at a South Greensburg distribution facility this morning, a Westmoreland County fire official said.

Hazardous material crews, Ferrellgas Co. officials and firefighters went to 1805 S. Broad St. Ext. for a leak in a 30,000-pound storage tank at one of the gas company’s facilities, county dispatchers said. The leak was contained in about two hours.

South Greensburg fire Chief Eric Hardy said only gas facility employees were evacuated and nearby businesses and homes were not affected.

He and Westmoreland County public safety department spokesman Dan Stevens said crews sprayed water to freeze the area around the leak and were successful in stopping it.

Workers near the tank who smelled an odor reported it to emergency dispatchers around 9 a.m. The leak closed a road and stopped train traffic nearby, but no injuries were reported.

Chief Hardy said the cold worked mostly in firefighters’ favor, as they were able to douse the area around the valve with water to make an ice cap. Several tankers were on standby, though, because the water supply was scarce due to frozen fire hydrants.

Gas company officials brought in a tanker truck to move gas from the tank to another facility. Twelve to 15 fire companies responded to the site.

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede. First Published February 4, 2014 10:47 AM

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