Video above from PhonePix shows the moment of the BLEVE. There is quite a bit of screaming from inside the car.
(Note: Special thanks to Tammy Fore and Blee Moffett for their assistance on this story.)
UPDATE AT 11:45 PM EST:
WSET-TV confirms the fire and explosions involved two 1000 gallon propane tanks at a shopping center near Sweet Briar College in Amherst, Virginia. By the description of the reporter, there was a BLEVE in one of those tanks around 9:00 PM EST that was captured on the videos we have been showing you. According to WSET-TV’s James Gherardi, one end of the tank blew into a dialysis center nearby and the other end rocketed 300 feet to the front of a restaurant. Firefighters had already evacuated the area. One firefighter had a cut to the face.
Amherst County investigators say a 1,000 gallon propane tank exploded, causing a massive fire in the Ambriar Shopping Center, near Amherst High School earlier this evening.
One firefighter was hurt, but not seriously.
Above is a still image from PhonePix’s video.
The blast knocked out electricity to Sweet Briar College, according to messages posted on the school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. The college says Appalachian Power estimates power will be back on by morning.
Below is the long version of the video from PhonePix. The audio is muted.
We now have two videos of the explosion that occurred around 9:00 tonight at a shopping center in Amherst, Virginia. There is a report of at least one firefighter hurt. The clip above was posted to YouTube by PhonePix. It has the following from the description with the video and indicates there had been a previous explosion involving propane:
The actual explosion happens at the 2:27 mark. A propane tank had exploded about 2 minutes prior to the video peaking our interest as we got into the car to see what happened. As we got closer we saw that the propane tank behind the Dollar General had exploded and there were police cars and fire trucks everywhere. We sat watching the fire for a little while when the unthinkable happened. A second explosion occurred throwing flames up hundreds of feet into the air. The concussion was so strong that it shook the car and made me feel like i had gotten punched in the chest.
The video below that also captured the blast and was posted to Facebook by Travis Fulcher.
One firefighter has been injured with structural damage reported in an apparent explosion at the Ambriar Shopping Center Monday Night.
Crews from both Amherst and Lynchburg have arrived at the scene.
Witnesses describe “feeling” two explosions and seeing flames shoot into the sky.
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