PORT DEPOSIT, Md. - Before removing the 9,000 gallons of propane from the damaged tanker, emergency managers ordered the people living in Port Deposit to leave town.
"Residents should be aware that this is a life/safety hazard,” said Amy Crabill, Deputy Director of Emergency Services in Cecil County, “They cannot be in the area."
...and most of them understand why.
"They're lucky it didn't explode cause one strike, especially if it's leaking, it could go up," said Charles McGuire who evacuated early Wednesday.
The driver of the tanker had apparently made a few wrong turns to find Interstate 95 when he found himself heading down a steep decline toward Port Deposit and his brakes failed.
Faced with plunging into the Susquehanna, he veered to the right and the rig overturned… sliding into one of the Tombs Landing condominiums.
"At that point in time, the building was evacuated,” said Crabill, “Residents had to be escorted into a number of the condominiums there to retrieve pets (and) medications, and for the period of time between the operation yesterday and today, the area has been secured."
Outside a temporary shelter at Bainbridge Elementary School, Marianne Deel spoke of the tense moments as she evacuated leaving her father behind.
"He's very stubborn and we have two bulldogs and there wasn't enough room in the car and he told me just to take the kids and to get out of here."
By late afternoon Wednesday, the job of transferring the propane was well underway, and officials were hopeful they could allow the townspeople to return to their homes.
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