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Propane Removed From Tank That Plunged Into Canyon

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Sonora, CA — Wards Ferry Road is back open after extensive efforts were made to cleanup an accident involving a truck carrying 8,500 gallons of propane.

We reported earlier that the incident happened late in the evening on January 11. The driver, 53-year-old Michael Rusch of Bakersfield, suffered only minor injuries. The tank was too heavy to remove from the canyon, so officials had to develop a plan B. Because of the public safety hazard, a stretch of Wards Ferry Road, was closed indefinitely.

CHP Sgt. Randy Matyshock updates, “The propane tank actually went approximately 450 feet down from the road. It did not rupture, so the main concern in closing the road was to get that propane out of there. The operation began on the 17th where they basically used hoses to get the propane from that tank up to a bobtail truck on the road. Part of that propane was converted into a vapor, and then they vapor flared the remaining propane off. They were able to get about six to seven thousand pounds of liquid propane into the bobtail truck, and they flared off a couple thousand gallons as well.”

Now that the work is completed, Wards Ferry Road is back open. However, the tank still remains in the canyon, and a plan is being developed to have it physically removed. The CHP notes that it is owned by Transco Logistics.

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