UPDATE: A collision involving a semi-truck and a truck carrying propane gas caused propane to spew out in the middle of a parking lot, which caused Ga. Highway 138 to be shut down and people in a nearby building to evacuate the premises Thursday morning.
Rockdale County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene at 1475 Ga. Hwy 138 moments after the gas leak call came in and cleaned up the area fairly quickly, says George Cox, public information officer for Fire and Rescue.
The exact amount of gas spilled into the area couldn't be confirmed at the time, but the AmeriGas truck that was hit holds about 1,200 pounds of gas.
Firefighters had to hose down the area with water to disperse the gas and prevent it from pooling together, says Cox.
"The problem was mitigated really quickly," he said. "The excess time was just monitoring that it was safe for everybody to get back into the building."
About 30 to 40 people had to be evacuated from the building at the intersection of Ga Hwy 138 and Pine Log Road. About an hour after firefighters arrived on the scene they were cleared to return to the building.
Since propane is colorless, firefighters used air monitors inside and outside of the building to gauge the amount of gas still in the area.
"As a precaution, we have air monitoring just to make sure there was no gas inside the structure, which there was never any gas inside the structure, and monitor the limits outside the structure just to make sure it's safe."
Cox says the situation could have been much worse because of how propane's flammability.
"The possibility for something severe is there," he said. "It's kind of one of those things where you don't know how severe it is until something bad happens, and we want to control that."
A tractor trailer crash involving a propane tank has shut down Hwy. 138 near Pine Log Road Thursday.
Firefighters are on the scene trying to contain the leak.
Please travel the area with caution.
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