The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department responded to a report of a large propane leak coming from a shipping container at a business in the Shipman Industrial Area near Kea’au, Puna Thursday morning (April 11th).
The initial call came in at 11:04 am Thursday morning (April 11th) and crews from the Kea’au, Haihai, Waiakea, and Kaumana (HAZ-MAT Company 4) Fire Stations along with Battalion 1 responded to the scene and upon the arrival of HFD personnel, workers at the facility reported a large volumed propane shipping tank (~6,300 gallon and 20ft tank in size) fill valve located at the bottom of the tank was accidentally sheared off and caused unknown amount of propane to leak formed a large vapor cloud in the area.
As HFD crews arrived on scene, they began safety measures to prevent further incidents from occurring until HAZ-MAT Company 4 arrived on scene. HPD officers stopped all traffic into Shipman Industrial Area until the situation stabilized. HFD personnel also told all patrons and workers of surrounding businesses and properties in the vicinity of the leak to shelter in place and extinguish all outdoor flames and industrial sources, that including shutting off all vehicles. Variable winds and raining conditions during the incident caused the vapor cloud to move over the surrounding area.
HFD's HAZ-MAT Team utilized monitors to determine the flammable zone of the propane and crews used water fog nozzles to dispersed the gas from the area. Because the leak was liquid, the source of the leak was quickly dispersed. HFD crews were able stabilized the situation just after 12:00 pm Thursday afternoon and businesses in the Shipman Industrial Area were allowed to resume normal operations shortly after.
No injuries were reported from this incident.