‘Definitely an unusual incident;’ 3 injured after propane tank explodes in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — A large explosion was heard and shook Springfield homes and windows Tuesday morning around the 500 block of East Home Road.

Springfield resident Amanda Massie was getting ready to take her kids to school and heard two loud booms she thought was a garbage truck since Tuesday was garbage day.

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After dropping her kids off at school, she came home to a different scene than what she had left.

“I noticed my whole road was blocked off, and I noticed the huge fire and a lot of smoke,” Massie said.

Massie’s neighbors told her what happened, and their house and windows shook.

Workers from Armcorp Construction, Inc. were working at the site of a former children’s home, renovating it for Project Women were moving a 2,000-gallon propane tank that fell off a forklift, and the valve broke off, releasing propane gas into the air.

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“This released the propane, which, being heavier than air, traveled along the ground until it found an ignition source, which then caused multiple explosions,” according to a social media post from Springfield Fire Rescue Division.

Four companies from Springfield Fire Rescue Division responded along with Clark County Sheriff Deputies, and Springfield Police Division responded. Firefighters were able to have the fire under control within 30 minutes.

Several buildings within the complex were severely damaged by the blast and the fire, including structural members and roof rafters. Three cars belonging to the workers working on the site were also damaged.

“This is definitely an unusual incident. They have happened before but usually not to this extreme, and certainly not in this situation, where it’s a more of a public thing. Usually, they’re on someone’s land or something like that,” Springfield Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Smith told News Center 7.

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Two workers, one of which was the forklift driver, were flown to Miami Valley Hospital for burn injuries with non-life threatening injuries and in stable condition. One additional worker was injured but treated on the scene by Springfield Fire Rescue Division Paramedics.

“This is a very powerful explosion and could have been even more so,” Smith said.

The buildings on the site were evacuated. The next closet building, Clark County Regional Dispatch Center, was not evacuated and continued with dispatching emergency services across the county.

“For the propane to burn it has to have the right mixture between that air and too rich to lean and won’t burn. In this case, just the right amount was there on a found an ignation source and it blew up,” Smith said.

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This remains an ongoing investigation; the Fire Marshalls Bureau, along with the Springfield Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit, are handling it.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed it had opened an investigation into the workplace incident with Armcorp Construction, Inc.

Additional details regarding this were not immediately released.