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Oct 5, 1998

Leaking butane truck runs through Santa Elena

While only minor injuries were reported in Sunday’s explosion, two days earlier in Santa Elena, Cayo, another incident involving a butane gas truck could have had far more serious consequences. The incident happened at the Western Gas Company Depot around eight twenty five on Friday morning as employees were filling up the truck to do the day’s delivery. According to written reports submitted to the National Fire Service, after close to two thousand gallons of butane gas were pumped into the truck, driver/mechanic Radford Williams was asked to remove it from the loading area. Not realizing that it was still hooked up to the depot, Williams drove off, snapping the intake valve in the process. The comedy of errors that followed was either the result of panic or ignorance. According to authorities, Williams was told by a supervisor and another employee to drive the badly leaking truck away from the depot and into an open field. Williams obeyed orders but took a route which carried him over a mile through the town to the Peter August Stadium, gas pouring out of the broken intake valve all the while. According to the Fire Department, the leak from the broken valve went unchecked for an hour and a half before it was finally stopped. Fortunately no one was injured in Friday morning’s incident.

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