Cause of explosions at Tavares propane tank plant still unknown

Investigators look at surveillance videos from plant, probe forklifts

Published On: Jul 31 2013 05:31:45 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 31 2013 05:44:50 PM EDT
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TAVARES, Fla. -

The investigation into the Blue Rhino propane tank plant explosion continues on Wednesday as authorities continue to learn about how the fire ignited.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosions said at a news conference on Wednesday they believe the fire started along the back of the property outside, somewhere past the large propane storage tanks.

Officials said the fire had nothing to do with the assembly line operation inside the buildings up front. The specific cause remains under investigation.

ATF investigations and the State Fire Marshal's office said they have been talking with Blue Rhino employees, victims in the hospitals and emergency first responders to try to piece together how nearly 53,000 propane canisters caught fire and exploded.

Authorities have obtained surveillance videos from the plant, which shows the fire spreading.

Investigators said they focused some of their attention on Wednesday to forklifts used at the plant to move the tanks around the property after speculation that perhaps a spark from one of the forklifts may have caused the fire.

Investigators aren't commenting about what their inspection of the forklifts revealed. They said they will complete their inspection in Tavares on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, a temporary worker at the Blue Rhino plant who was working his first day on the job during the explosion has hired an attorney after he said he was in danger because he never received any safety training.

Bobby Hutsenpiller has hired attorney Matt Morgan to represent him.