LEESBURG, Fla. – Authorities responded to an explosion at an asphalt plant in Lake County, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Officials said they were called to DAB Constructors, Inc. at 1233 Commerce Street after a silo exploded at the plant around 6:10 a.m. Thursday.
Leesburg police, who were at the scene with Leesburg Fire Department officials, said a valve appeared to have malfunctioned on a hopper, prompting the explosion.
Hazmat crews responded to the scene and were able to turn off the valve, stopping the flow of the aphalt but not before more than 20,000 gallons of tar spilled, according to Leesburg Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Joe Mara.
Fire officials said there was a leak of liquid asphalt, but crews were able to contain it to just the plant's property before it could cause damage to the environment or other property.
Unknown amounts of liquid tar and asphalt were left on the ground following the explosion that the property owner will have to clean up, officials said.
One operator was injured during the incident, fire crews said. They were treated and released a short time later.
"It could’ve been a lot worse and the fact that the tar that leaked is flammable when it’s liquid, so there could’ve been a fire, it could’ve been a lot worse," Mera said.
Firefighters said crews will remain at the scene for a while to protect drains, contain the leak and monitor the area for any other potential issues.
No other details were immediately available.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates.