Policy: Environment & Energy

Western Md. town partly emptied after fuel mishap

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Local,Maryland,Energy and Environment

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — A tanker truck carrying 10,000 gallons of propane overturned on a sharp curve in Oakland's downtown business district Wednesday morning, prompting evacuation of about half the town, including 45 jail inmates, as a precaution, a county official said.

Potomac Edison cut electricity to as many as 120 customers Wednesday afternoon so workers could safely transfer propane to a second tanker before trying to winch the truck off the sidewalk and bank parking lot where it landed, Garrett County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt said in an email.

He said workers hoped to complete the cleanup by 7 p.m.

The evacuation order extended for about a mile around the accident scene, Pagenhardt said.

Oakland, the county seat, is a mountain town of 1,900 nearly 200 miles west of Baltimore.

Pagenhardt said no propane leaked from the tanker when it overturned at about 9:20 a.m. Traffic on U.S. 219 and state Route 135 was detoured onto county roads, he said.

The accident prompted immediate evacuation of the nearby county courthouse, offices and jail. The inmates were sent to a lockup in neighboring Allegany County, Pagenhardt said.

Officials decided not to evacuate a nearby hospital and nursing home, he said.

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