Lake County deputies respond to reported silo explosion in Leesburg
LEESBURG, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Lake County deputies and firefighters responded to a silo explosion in Leesburg Thursday morning.
Authorities said they are still looking at why an explosion happened at DAB Constructors, at 1233 Commerce Street near Leesburg.
Police believe a valve malfunctioned around 6 a.m. on one of the hoppers, causing the explosion. Lake County Fire Rescue was also on the scene.
“My wife and I were both awakened to the house shaking and a very large explosion sound,” said Kelly Collins.
“It was the loudest thing I ever heard!” agreed Thelma Benn.
Leesburg Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Joe Mera said one worker got minor injuries. “There was no fire,” he said, “the plant operator was treated and released.”
The force of the explosion was so powerful it launched several huge pieces of metal across the street. Mera said the tank holds liquid tar - a syrupy, sticky substance that holds asphalt together. Firefighters worried it might drain into the nearby lake.
“Hazmat was notified, we were able to contain the leak, protect the environment - put some material around the drains, keep the tar out of the water,” Mera said.
“Glad that I'm not living next to them,” Collins said, “it would have really been frightening to wake up to that!”
The Fire Marshal's office is investigating the explosion, the plant remains closed in the meantime. DAB Constructors said the injured worker got checked out in the hospital and came back on the job.