A propane leak led to an evacuation in Reedsville.
The Olive Township Fire Department was alerted at 9:36 p.m. on April 11, 2023 for a suspicious odor near 66155 State Route 124 Reedsville. The address is near Reed’s Country Market where a propane tank is located.
Upon arrival fire department officials discovered a 1,000 gallon propane tank belonging to Rutland Bottle Gas to be leaking. Fire department officals started evacuation per emergency response plans. The evacuees were taken to the Olive Township Firehouse for temporary shelter outside the potential hazardous area. State Route 124 and State Route 681 were closed during the incident and were reopened at 2 a.m.
Assistance from was provided by the Chester Fire Department, Tuppers Plains Fire Department, Meigs County Emergency Management Agency, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Meigs EMS, Syracuse Fire Department, Coolville Fire Department, Ohio Department of Transportation, Americian Electric Power, Bellville Locks and Dam, Eastern Local Schools and NOAA. All of the agencies worked together during the incident.
Rutland Bottle Gas Company sent a technician to the scene. According to EMA Director Jamie Jones, it was determined that an equipment malfunction had occurred causing a seal to be broken allowing the propane to escape.
EMA Director Jones said the weather was monitored and emergency response plans were followed. Jones also stated that a debriefing between all departments, and government officials will take place in the coming weeks to see if there is anything that could be improved in case of a future incident.
The purpose of the Meigs County EMA is to prepare and respond in such incidents. First responders work with the EMA to prepare as much as possible in training sessions.
“The mechanisms for response in incidents such as a gas leak were in place and everyone worked together. We were prepared if it had been worse but thankfully it was not. We continue to evaluate and prepare as much possible to keep the people of Meigs County safe,” Jones said.