• Full operations resume at Blue Rhino plant after July explosions


    TAVARES, Fla. - The owners of the Blue Rhino plant in Tavares are slowly bringing the facility back online after a series of massive explosions rocked the plant four months ago.

    The blasts in July sent propane canisters flying through the air and heavily damaged the plant. Seven workers were injured in the blaze, but there were no fatalities.

    The facility has resumed full production after passing a string of inspections and putting new safety procedures in place.

    "Of all the facilities in the country, this is probably the one with the most safety items in it," said Tavares City Administrator John Drury.

    A company statement outlined four major improvements: an automated water cannon system that will be online next month to flood any fire, a 30 percent cut in the number of propane tanks on the property, more space between the rows of tanks, and more ways in and out of the facility.

    "I think this facility may set the standard for all other facilities, not only Blue Rhino, but beyond that," said Drury.

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