Firefighters in several towns across America were kept busy this week as multiple propane tank explosions occurred just hours apart.
When emergency teams arrived at the scene of the blaze that took place in Jersey City on March 22, a leaking propane tank ruptured and was propelled several hundred feet into the air and then outwards, where it landed adjacent to the nearby light-rail tracks.
Remarkably, nobody was injured, nor did the operators of the light-rail service need to shut down for any period of time.
In Fargo on the very same day, things could have gotten much worse. Small propane tanks also unexpectedly burst there, though the presence of a much larger 300-pound tank made the situation all the more daunting for emergency responders. The large tank did not burst, but one man working nearby was taken to the hospital for minor burns.
With over 60 million people using the efficient yet volatile gas, Americans might be understandably concerned about the risks inherent to using propane and may be curious about the likelihood of something similar to this string of accidents happening to them.
While the two occurrences are unrelated and have both been ruled accidents by investigators, a few questions have been raised in response to the explosions.
Is propane safe to use? Absolutely. In both of the above cases, first responders determined that a fire broke out due to unrelated causes and was ultimately the culprit in both explosions.
Basic upkeep and best practices on the part of the user will keep them safe from an emergency like this from happening to them.
Some experts recommend having a licensed technician inspect your propane tanks and accessories before use, along with some other general tips.