Motor Sparks Train Car Fuel Fire: Official

Wednesday, Jul 3, 2013  |  Updated 4:49 AM EDT
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Motor Sparks Train Car Fuel Fire: Official

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A propane company official says a fire burning fuel from a propane car in central Pennsylvania that injured one person, prompted evacuations and disrupted rail service was sparked by a failing electric motor.

Lancaster Propane Gas CEO Paul Wheaton told The (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era that an employee sustained burns in the two-alarm fire at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday just off Route 230 near Mount Joy -- about 20 miles southeast of Harrisburg. But he said he didn't think the worker was seriously injured, and the injuries were due to butane freeze burns, not burns from flames.

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Wheaton also said the railway car itself didn't catch fire, just the piping between the car and a compressor. The company unloads butane from railcars, stores it and loads trucks to deliver the fuel to refineries and eventually gas stations in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Maryland, he said.

Randall Gockley, the county's director of emergency management, said about 60 people were evacuated within a three-block radius as a precaution.

Amtrak suspended rail service between Harrisburg and Lancaster but later resumed service and said passenger can expect a normal schedule Wednesday.

 


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