Pictures of Propane Tank Explosion Near Big Sky
The information and pictures below were provided in a press release from the Big Sky Fire Department.
On January 6, 2021 at approximately 2:30 p.m., the Big Sky Fire Department was dispatched to Hwy 191 at the Kenyon Noble concrete batch plant for a vehicle fire that was reported to have spread to a large commercial structure.
While enroute to the incident our crews were notified that there had been an explosion and that a propane truck was involved. Upon our arrival we found a propane gas truck with the cab fully involved. There was also a 1000-gallon propane tank that was venting active flames and another 1000-gallon tank that had been compromised and experienced a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion or BLEVE.
We immediately in coordination with Gallatin County Sheriff's Office created a ½-mile evacuation perimeter around the remaining propane tanks. There were a few smaller explosions that occurred shortly after our arrival due to some smaller gas tanks in the immediate area and the other tank venting.
Crews were able to establish a water supply quickly and were able to mount a defensive attack utilizing large water portable ground monitors from a safe position to quickly suppress the fire. Once the fire was extinguished our crews remained on scene actively cooling the remaining tank with hand lines until it was deemed safe by on scene gas company representatives.
Upon investigation, the driver of the gas truck stated that he was going to fill the 2-1000-gallon stationary tanks when he slid on the ice and ran into one of the tanks, shearing the main line and the vaporizer thus causing the immediate fire. The driver was unable to move his vehicle off the gas line but was quick thinking enough to go in and alert the occupants of the Kenyon Martin building before the initial explosion. Hwy 191 was shut down for approximately 45 minutes in both directions during the incident. Luckily, no one was injured during the incident and the area around the tanks and building only suffered moderate damage.
A rapid initial response and mutual aid from neighboring departments showed again how effective our County mutual aid system is. Responding departments were: GCSO, Hyalite Fire, Yellowstone Club Fire, Gallatin Gateway Fire, and Bozeman Fire.
The Big Sky Fire Department posted pictures of the explosion on its Facebook page Wednesday evening.