On Monday, July 29, a propane plant in Tavares, Florida experienced a string of explosions during the night, resulting in giant flames and earth-rocking explosions. The Tavares sheriff had originally reported that casualties from the explosions were high, with fifteen people unaccounted for, seven injured, and all other safely accounted for. Eventually, however, the fifteen employees were found and accounted for. There have been no official reports of fatalities, but three of the fifteen were found in critical condition.
In light of this terrible event, questions have come forth about what caused the explosions and how the steps needed to prevent them were not taken. The Tavares fire chief, Richard Keith, came out as saying that officials believed the explosions occurred because of human error, and have, for now, been classified as an accident. Sabotage is not currently seen as a viable cause.
John Herrell, a lieutenant at the Lake County Sheriff's Office, answered eager reporters and journalists early in the morning on Tuesday. He assured that no fatalities had occurred, and spoke about the explosion's impact, quoted as saying, "People from very far away and in towns six, seven, eight, 10 miles from here were reporting feeling their homes shaking."
Gene Williams, a maintenance worker at the plant, has come forward with testimony about the night's events. He spoke with a forklift driver suffering from severe burns shortly after the explosions began. Williams was quoted as saying that the driver had implied that the explosions were from a "combination of human error and bad practices, possibly. I don't want to speculate any further, that's what the forklift driver was telling me."
The explosions and ensuing fire, though traumatic and deadly, have miraculously not resulted in any deaths. Still, the writer sends her regards to the victims and their families as they receive treatment and begin the healing process.