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Redwood City Propane Tank Explosion Shuts Down El Camino Real

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) -- Firefighters were working to drain propane gas from a 1,000-gallon tank at a U-Haul storage facility in Redwood City following an explosion Friday morning involving smaller tanks at the site.

The explosion at the U-Haul facility at 2200 El Camino Real at about 8:20 a.m. Friday sent a plume of black smoke into the air, according to Baldez Mann, the owner of the Chevron gas station directly across the street.

No one was injured and all U-Haul personnel are accounted for, according to Redwood City Deputy Fire Chief Stan Maupin.

Firefighters called to the U-Haul facility found the explosion involving smaller propane tanks had started a fire that threatened the larger 1,000-gallon propane tank, Maupin said.

Firefighters were able to secure all but one valve on the large tank and were letting the propane burn off while they kept a steady stream of water on the tank to keep it cool and reduce the internal pressure, Maupin said.

Crews estimated about 500 gallons of propane may have been in the large tank when the explosion occurred.

A bomb squad had responded and will help secure the scene, and firefighters are also working with a propane technician, Maupin said.

Redwood City residents in the area had been asked to stay indoors during the incident.

"We're very comfortable that we have the infrastructure well in hand," Maupin said.

El Camino Real was closed between Center Street and Oak Avenue in both directions, and Woodside Road was closed between Middlefield Road and Hudson Street.

Maupin said fire crews were expected to remain at the site into the afternoon.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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