TREMONTON, Box Elder County — Roadblocks may be inconvenient when a fire seems so far away, but law enforcement and firefighters know there are potential dangers that can arise.
The Utah Highway Patrol shared a cell phone video showing a 500-pound propane tank that exploded near Bear River in Box Elder County.
A quarter of a mile away, dashcam video from a trooper’s car shows a piece of metal from that same propane tank landing next to the patrol car.
The piece of metal that flew into the air for a quarter of a mile weighed 50- pounds.
“If my trooper had not moved into his car, it’s likely he would have been seriously injured,” UHP Lt. Lee Perry said. “He may have even been killed with a size of a piece like that hitting. It literally took out a chunk of asphalt.
“I’m just grateful that nothing happened to my trooper that night, or (anyone) else.”
Troopers and firecrews say this incident is a great example of why roads are sometimes closed so far away from a fire. With all the shrapnel flying into the air, the trooper may have saved somebody from getting hurt.
“When you have metal projectiles going over a quarter of a mile, that’s really scary for not only the responders’ safety, but the public’s safety that’s driving by because they see something going on,” Box Elder County Fire Marshal Corey Barton said.
While it may seem an extreme example of what could happen, it’s best to proceed with caution.