Firefighters prepare to put out a container of burning caps, as thousands of exploded propane cylinders litter the storage yard of a propane plant, after massive explosions overnight in the plant's yard, in Tavares, Fla., on July 30. Dozens of explosions rocked a propane tank servicing plant in central Florida, northwest of Orlando, late on Monday, injuring eight people, at least three critically, and prompting the evacuation of nearby homes, authorities said. David Manning / Reuters
Firefighters walk among thousands of exploded propane cylinders that litter the storage yard of a propane plant in Tavares, Fla., on July 30. David Manning / Reuters
By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News
A combination of human error and equipment failure might have caused
a series of explosions that engulfed a propane plant in flames in Tavares, Fla., late Monday, injuring eight people and forcing evacuations for a half-mile around the scene, authorities said.
The explosions began as a fire spread through the Blue Rhino plant, near Orlando, about 10:30 p.m. ET, Lake County sheriff's Lt. John Herrell told reporters early Tuesday.
Plant officials say all employees of the plant are accounted for. All of those injured were in the plant when the fire started.
"It sounds like bombs are going off," Norma Haygood, a nearby resident, told
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This handout photo released by ClickOrlando.com on July 30 shows an explosion of propane tank cylinders at the Blue Rhino plant in Tavares, Fla., on July 29. ClickOrlando.com via AFP - Getty Images
A series of explosions engulfed a propane plant in flames in Tavares, Florida, late July 30. This photo was taken at 11.36 p.m. from a location between 1-2 miles from the blast. Tyler Mackenzie Photography