Shell Knob, Mo. business employees react to propane facility leak Wednesday

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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SHELL KNOB, Mo. (KY3) -The Dollar General store in Shell Knob reopened after closing early Wednesday for a propane leak nearby.

Fire crews arrived at the Titan Propane/AmeriGas facility around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday for reports of a propane leak.

Dollar General Manager Brandy Bradford was working Wednesday night as she watched numerous emergency vehicles respond to the propane leak across the street. In situations like this, crews will also monitor the air in the surrounding area and businesses.

”We wondered what was going on, then finally the state trooper and one of the firefighters came down and did some readings,” said Bradford. “They said they may have to close the store.”

Central Crossing Fire Chief Rusty Rickard says the leak was caused by the pressure relieve valve. He says in the heat, those tanks will build pressure.

”This valve is designed to relieve that pressure,” Rickard said. “If it gets too high when the pressure drops, that valve should typically reset. In yesterday’s situation, that valve did not reset.”

Fire crews hauled around 175,000 gallons of water Wednesday night from the Shell Knob bridge to cool the tank.

”They just kept going back and forth, filling their trucks,” Bradford said. “It was amazing how much water they used. Luckily, the lake was so close.”

Chief Rickard says cooling the tank usually helps to relieve that pressure. However, in Wednesday’s situation, the valve’s failure really did no good.

”So at that point, the water usage just dissipates the propane,” Rickard said. “It helps break that up a little bit as it’s coming out of the tank.”

Bradford says she was grateful for the quick response and frequent check-ins by first responders.

”We’re lucky to have such a good community of guys to be willing to stand out there and wait to fill the trucks up,” she said. “Then come back and take care of everybody.”

’Thankfully, the church in the area was not in session. The school was not in session,” said Rickard. “A lot of things kind of played into our favor.”

Crews cleared the scene around two this morning, and there were no reports of injuries. The tank is empty and can’t be used again until it has been repaired and inspected.

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