Gas Leak Forces Evacuation of About 30 People From Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Condos

Firefighters are working to unearth a leaking 500-pound underground tank

Friday, Feb 22, 2013  |  Updated 1:23 AM EDT
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About 30 residents were evacuated from two condominium buildings in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea after a gas leak in a 500-pound underground tank Thursday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities were called to the Ocean Bay Club at 5555 N. Ocean Dr. at 1:11 p.m. after someone saw vapors and smelled propane near the complex’s pool, BSO spokesman Mike Jachles said in a statement.

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Two of the three buildings at the complex have been evacuated. No injuries were reported.

Ocean Drive, or A1A, was closed to traffic from Sea Ranch Lakes south for about half a mile.

Hazardous materials teams from Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and the Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise fire departments later responded. They have been working to unearth the leaking tank, which has not been used in many years and is buried in concrete, Jachles said.

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Firefighters were using pneumatic chisels as they worked to expose the tank and in turn mitigate the leak, he said. The extended operation was expected to continue overnight.

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