Propane Plant Explosions Lead To Lawsuits

TAVARES, Fla. (AP) — Five employees injured at a central Florida propane plant in 2013 are suing its owner, alleging that negligence and unsafe working conditions led to a series of explosions.

The lawsuits claim Blue Rhino ignored safety training and concealed the dangers of tasks that released explosive and hazardous fumes.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the blast was caused by a forklift that sparked and ignited a cloud of propane vapor that had been bled from propane cylinders.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found 26 safety violations. Blue Rhino told OSHA that employee misconduct was to blame for the blast.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the five lawsuits all seek damages in excess of $15,000. A spokesman for Blue Rhino’s parent company said he would not comment on pending litigation.