Authorities evacuate 300 people from residential area in Coconut Grove

Firefighters burn off gas in old tank after neighbors hear explosion

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COCONUT GROVE, Fla. – A propane gas leak Wednesday afternoon in Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood prompted authorities to evacuate about 300 people and their pets from their homes for several hours. 

It was a terrifying day for the residents of the Grove Village Gate apartment building. A resident said a neighbor was taking a shower when he heard an explosion, and he decided to knock on everyone's door so they could leave the building. 

The 1,000-gallon gas tank at the Grove Village Gate is buried under ground. Miami Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban was concerned about the structural integrity of the 60-year-old tank. 

As Miami firefighters burned off the gas, there was a 5-foot flame coming from the tank along Southwest 27th Avenue near 30th Street. 

Officers evacuated eight buildings and temporarily blocked off access to 27th Avenue from Bird Road to Tigertail Avenue as a precaution. About 7:45 p.m., authorities reopened some streets and had only closed Southwest 27th Avenue between U.S. 1 and South Bayshore Drive. 

A third-party contractor was assisting firefighters. They were able to get the gas low enough to replace a valve about 9:45 p.m.

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The explosion in Coconut Grove remains under investigation as authorities in Broward County's city of Plantation investigate the cause of a massive explosion that left 23 people injured and damaged businesses in a strip mall. 


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