Residents let back into their condos after gas leak

Officials say 2 of 3 buildings of complex were evacuated Thursday

Headline Goes Here

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. - About 30 residents were evacuated from their condos after a leak erupted in an underground LP gas tank Thursday afternoon, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Two of the three buildings of the complex, located at 5555 N. Ocean Drive, have been evacuated. BSO says A1A (Ocean Drive) is closed to vehicle traffic from Sea Ranch Lakes south for about half a mile.

At 1:11 pm on Thursday, BSO deputies and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Volunteer Fire Department crews were called to the Ocean Bay Club after someone said they saw the vapors and a smell of propane near the complex pool.

Later that afternoon, around 5:15 pm, the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue's Regional Hazardous Materials Team was requested to assist. Additionally, Hazmat teams from Ft. Lauderdale and Sunrise fire departments responded to the scene.

Officials said the teams had worked to unearth a 500-pound leaking underground tank. Information from the scene showed that the tank, buried in concrete, appeared to have not been used in many years.

Deputies said firefighters used pneumatic chisels to piece away at the casing to expose the tank, so the leak can be mitigated.

Officials said they conducted a burn-off operation, where the leaking fuel was ignited like a giant burner to safely empty the contents.

Repair Crews worked through the night Thursday and were still on the scene Friday morning.

On Friday morning, residents were allowed back into their homes, but only on foot. They were unable to drive to their homes at that time.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.