Montgomery County Fire Rescue Services responded to a propane leak at Suburban Propane in Rockville Maryland on Thursday morning. The valve on a nearly full 1,000 gallon propane tank was sheered causing the highly flammable gas to spew from the tank.
Officials evacuated the nearby Montgomery College’s Rockville campus and halted rail service on the Brunswick Line and the Metrorail Red Line between Rockville and Shady Grove. The rail service interruption impacted CSX, Amtrak, and MARC trains.
Pete Piringer, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service, said “The main concern is the Metro train because it’s electric and could cause a source of ignition.”
First responders were faced with two possible solutions. The first would be to allow the propane to leak naturally for up to 18 hours. The second option was to try and plug the severed valve but this carries a much higher risk than letting the propane leak out naturally. In the end, firefighters worked with Suburban Propane’s employees and successfully patched the leak. Rail services and classes have since resumed.
MCFRS patches 1,000-gallon propane tank leak, saves Amtrak, MARC and Red Line service