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White Lake, NC – On Monday, May 22, 2023, at 4:18 pm White Lake police officer on stationary patrol at 2038 White Lake Drive witnessed an employee and customer of Camp Clearwater Campground be severely burned while attempting to fill a propane cylinder at the business propane filling station.

According to the officer’s report, a “loud hissing” noise was heard, and then witnesses believed it to be propane gas spraying in the air creating what appeared to be “white smoke.” The officer said a large explosion then occurred. The officer immediately radioed for assistance and began to render aid to the victims.

Injured in this incident were a 58-year-old White Lake, NC woman, a 49-year-old Riegelwood, NC man, and the man’s dog.

The following agencies responded to the incident: White Lake Police Department, White Lake Fire Department, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Bladen County Emergency Medical Services, Bladen County Fire Marshalls Office, and Cape Fear Valley Life Link.

The 58-year-old White Lake woman was transported via Cape Fear Valley Life Link Helicopter to an undisclosed hospital for her injuries. No information is available on her condition at this time.

The 49-year-old Riegelwood man and his dog were treated for injuries and released.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, propane gas is highly flammable. About 600 fires or explosions occur with gas tanks yearly, injuring about 30 people. The new safety standard for propane gas tanks requires that an “over-fill prevention device” be installed in new gas tanks.

Four safety tips the commission offers for propane gas safety are listed below.

– Always keep propane gas containers upright.

– Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car trunk. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.

– Never bring the propane tank into the house.

– Older gas containers may need to be traded for new containers offering better “over-fill prevention.”

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