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Propane tanker crash prompts West Jordan evacuations

Published April 13, 2013 6:14 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A traffic accident involving a propane tanker forced the evacuation of homes and businesses in West Jordan on Saturday.

The accident happened about 8:15 a.m. when a Toyota Avalon cut in front of a propane truck near 1800 West and 7800 South, according to Officer J.C. Holt. The car was trying to make a left turn and either didn't see the truck or didn't complete the turn in time. Holt said the two vehicles hit in a glancing, almost head-on collision.

The 2,500-gallon tanker flipped onto its side, Holt said, and when authorities arrived they could smell gas and hear a hissing noise. As as safety precaution, crews closed the road and evacuated several surrounding blocks. Holt said the area is mostly occupied by businesses but has some homes, as well. The evacuations lasted until about 2 p.m.

When specialists arrived, they discovered there wasn't actually a gas leak. Instead, Holt said, a safety valve, similar to those on small home-use propane tanks, had activated and released the mounting pressure. The tanker was about 80 percent full when the accident happened, according to Holt.

The driver of the Avalon, a man in his 20s, was transported via helicopter to a hospital, but was expected to recover. Holt said the man who was driving the propane tanker had reported to a hospital as a safety measure.

The accident was cleared when another truck arrived to carry away the propane tank, which couldn't remain on the damaged tanker during towing, Holt said.

According Holt there was no evidence of impaired driving, though the accident remains under investigation.

jdalrymple@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jimmycdii