Residents evacuated after propane leak at UGI Energy Service’s terminal in Steelton

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STEELTON, Pa. -- Some residents of this Dauphin County borough were evacuated from their homes and businesses Friday due to a propane leak that occurred earlier in the day at the UGI Energy Service's (UGIES) terminal.

Officials say the evacuation occurred from Gibson Street to Eleanor Street between Front Street and Second Street as well as the 1600 block of Cameron Street in Harrisburg. Between 60 and 110 evacuees were taken to Steelton Elementary, according to County Commissioner George Hartwick.

The leak site is near the intersection of Franklin and Front streets in Steelton, near the borders with Swatara Township and Harrisburg.

Emergency personnel from Swatara Township and other surrounding areas responded to the natural gas and electric utility along Franklin Street around 2:45 p.m. Crews from Dauphin, Cumberland and York counties responded to the scene.

According to officials, a UGIES crew was unloading the contents of a rail car into a storage tank when propane was released because a relief valve malfunctioned. The propane leaked out of a 33,000-pound stationary tank through a vent that was unable to be shut down. Shifting winds made the propane plume difficult to control.

Evacuees were first taken to the Steelton fire department, but were later taken to Steelton Elementary School where they will spend the night waiting out the evacuation order.

Propane is being transferred to an empty tank. UGIES personnel will remain on the scene until the transfer is complete, and estimated that would take until at least 4 a.m. Saturday.

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