8 injured at gas plant explosion

CONROE, Texas - An explosion erupted Tuesday at a propane gas company in Montgomery County, injuring eight people.

Officials said the incident occurred at AmeriGas, 10985 FM 1485, at a stack of portable propane tanks around noon.

A medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene and transported two patients in very critical condition. Six people were taken to a local hospital by ambulance. Officials said they suffered minor burns and/or breathing problems.

The Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office said the incident was under control by 12:34 p.m.

Plant officials said there was a leak during a filling operation.

"Several employees did witness the leak," Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams said. "The information we have, initially, is that before they could release the shutoff, that there was an ignition."

Workers said several other small fires ignited after the explosion.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating. The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the propane industry, was notified about the situation.

According to its website, AmeriGas is the nation's largest propane company, serving over 2 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and motor fuel propane customers from over 1,200 locations in all 50 states.

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