ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Firefighters said six people were injured in a propane explosion at a trucking facility in north St. Louis Thursday night.
According to firefighters, the explosion occurred at SAIA Motor Freight Line in the 7300 block of Hall Street just before 8:00 p.m.
Authorities say workers were using a forklift inside a docked tractor trailer to move hazardous materials when the forklift ran out of propane, which it uses to run. When a worker was attempting to hook up a new propone tank it started it leak causing a heavy cloud of propane to fill the air. After the tank stopped leaking, a worker attempted to start the forklift, igniting the propane causing an explosion.
Saia spokeswoman Jeannie Jump said in a statement that none of the injuries were life-threatening. The critically injured man, who is expected to survive, and three others were hospitalized with burns. All four hospitalized workers are forklift operators. Two other workers suffered minor injuries and declined treatment.
Jump said two of the hospitalized men were expected to be released on Friday.
The explosion was an isolated incident that never jeopardized the surrounding area, Jump said, and the company was “fully cooperating” with the investigation.
“Saia LTL Freight’s number one priority is the safety of our employees,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured in the accident as well as their families.”
Saia provides transportation and logistics services, operating 147 terminals in 34 states, with annual revenue of more than $1.1 billion. The company has 8,500 employees, including 154 who work at the terminal in St. Louis.