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BSO Division Chief Thomas O'Connell talks about a tank gas leak and burn off in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Hazmat crews were working throughout the morning Friday to burn off gas from an underground tank at a condominium complex in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea after a leak forced dozens of residents to evacuate Thursday.
Authorities were called to the Ocean Bay Club at 5555 N. Ocean Drive after someone saw vapors and smelled propane near the complex’s pool, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.
Around 75 residents from two buildings were evacuated as Hazmat teams from the BSO, Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise responded and discovered a 500 gallon tank that hadn't been in use for years and was covered over with concrete.
"The tank's not been used for many years so somebody poured concrete over the top of it so when it began to leak we had no access to the valves, couldn't shut the leak off," BSO Division Chief Thomas O'Connell said.
O'Connell said the tank was originally used to heat a swimming pool and hadn't been used in 20 years.
Crews chipped through the concrete and were able to stop the leak and allow residents to return to their homes, O'Connell said.
A controlled burn off was being performed to get rid of the rest of the gas, but since the tank's gauge is covered in concrete, it's impossible to tell how much gas is inside.
"We have no idea how much product's in there," O'Connell said, adding that the burn off could last throughout Friday morning.