Pickup Backs Over Propane Tank

The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the owner of a black pickup truck witnesses say drove over a propane tank near the Hilton Garden Inn, breaking off the fill valve and leaking more than 1,000 gallons of propane into the air. Firefighters from Grasonville, Kent Island, Queenstown, Goodwill and Crumpton volunteer fire departments responded to the call. No one was injured. When firefighters arrived, they found a 1,850-gallon tank venting propane into the air, said Jason Anthony, chief of GVFD. Witnesses said a man, believed to be a guest at the hotel, drove over one of the traffic islands and over the top of the tank. When he realized he was on the propane tank, they said he backed off, breaking off the valve, and fled the scene.

Witnesses told police the driver was a white male, and he had two passengers, according to Lt. Dale Patrick of the sheriff’s office. They believe the truck’s plates were from either Maryland or New Jersey. Propane is heavier than air, Anthony said, so firefighters set up a fog stream to dissipate the vapor. Firefighters initially used the local hydrants; then pumpers from Kent Island and Queenstown drafted more water from Wells Cove. The wind was out of the southwest, so the vapor blew toward U.S. Route 50, where it was dispersed before reaching any passing cars. The tank was owned by United Propane. Officials from the Maryland Department of the Environment and Queen Anne’s County Emergency Management also responded.