SURREY - Two TransLink buses were called in to evacuate tenants at Newton's Winsome Place apartments Friday afternoon after a 2,000-gallon propane tank beside a neighbouring Husky gas station started leaking.
Surrey and Delta firefighters, as well as Surrey RCMP officers and Delta Police, were called to the 7700 Block of Scott Road shortly after 3 p.m. A large stretch of the road was blocked off.
Surrey RCMP Insp. Dan Splinter said they're not sure how much propane has leaked so far, or how much longer the area will be cordoned off, but he said he believes the situation is "very much under control."
Surrey Deputy Fire Chief John Caviglia noted that while natural gas rises, propane settles in low-lying areas.
"It could take a very long time to finish leaking, or venting," he said.
The emergency shut-off valve for the tank didn't work. It's not yet known what caused the leak. Someone had been filling a barbeque tank it.
The RCMP evacuated several three-storey apartment buildings and some houses near the gas station, as well as the Crossroads United Church a couple of blocks down the road.
"We had let in people to the church for shelter because there were babies without blankets, and people without sweaters, but the RCMP called us at around 4 p.m. and told us to evacuate unfortunately, which is too bad because this would have been a good place for them to wait," said Jen Swanson, a church minister.
Surrey Deputy Fire Chief Karen Fry said a tenant was treated for shortness of breath. Otherwise, there are no known injuries.
© Copyright 2013