LEBANON, Maine — Investigation into Saturday’s propane tank explosion was still ongoing Sunday, but authorities confirmed a second tank had exploded during the incident at Salmon Falls River Camping Resort.
According to Assistant Fire Chief Dan Roy, the propane tank leak that led to a camper being incinerated Saturday at the Natural High Road campground produced so much heat that it caused a nearby propane tank to explode as well.
Only the first blast, however, left two residents of the campground injured, one of whom remains in critical condition.
Roy said the heat from the initial explosion is believed to have caused the second tank to explode because, when warmed up, the pressurized fuel container burst.
“There was a second explosion when fire units were on the scene,” he said. “The second tank exploded on another camper, and it blew the fender right off a car.”
Roy said the blast from the second tank was so strong that it knocked over a nearby emergency responder. However, it did not cause any more injuries to residents of the campground.
A man and woman believed to be in their 60s were reported to have been injured in the initial blast that occurred around 7:45 a.m. Saturday that required additional response from South Berwick, Alfred and Rochester, N.H.
The two injured were said to have been occupying the first camper that exploded, and needed to be treated for severe injuries related to the blast.
The woman was transported by ambulance to Skydive New England to be taken by Lifeflight of Maine helicopter. The man was brought by ambulance to Frisbie Memorial Hospital.
WMUR was reporting that Lebanon Rescue Assistant Chief Jason Cole said the married couple is from Missouri and had just arrived at the campground.
Cole told Foster’s late Sunday night the woman remained at Maine Medical in intensive care and her husband was still being treated at Frisbie.
Several other camper units were damaged as a result of the explosion, which was reported to have been heard and felt by residents as far as 10 miles from the scene of the Lebanon campground.
Roy noted on Sunday that the Maine Fire Marshal’s office, which could not be reached by Foster’s, will continue to investigate the case.
Lebanon Fire Chief Skip Wood could not be reached for additional comment.
© 2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.)
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