November 15, 2011 / 12:56 AM / 8 years ago

Propane gas leak causes evacuations at Texas Gulf port

EDINBURG, Texas (Reuters) - A propane gas leak at a port at the southern tip of Texas injured one person and led to the evacuation of seven downwind businesses for several hours on Monday, fire officials said.

Problems with a valve connected to a tank caused about 57,000 gallons of propane gas to leak into the air at the Port of Brownsville, said Lenny Perez, the city’s fire chief.

Emergency crews responded to the scene at TransMontaigne, a Denver-based petroleum transport company with operations at the port, said Port of Brownsville spokesman Manuel Ortiz.

He said the gas leaked from a tank that holds 90,000 gallons of propane.

The leak prompted officials to shut down several nearby highways as firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worked to stop the flow of the flammable gas into the air.

No cause for the leak has been determined, Ortiz said. Both Ortiz and Perez said they did not know how many people were evacuated.

One TransMontaigne worker suffered “minor injuries” and received medical treatment, Ortiz said.

More than 230 companies operate at the Port of Brownsville, which connects to the Gulf of Mexico via a 17-mile navigation channel just north of the Texas-Mexico border.

Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Peter Bohan

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