Man burned during propane leak near Coopersville

Firefighters respond to a gas leak at Van Andel Propane in Coopersville. (Feb. 20, 2015)

POLKTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – A Muskegon-area man sustained burns to his face and neck from liquid propane exposure in an incident that happened at a fill station near Coopersville, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

Brent Alan Thies, 50, was injured when a propane leak occurred around 11:15 a.m. at Van Andel Propane on 48th Avenue in Polkton Township, Ottawa County sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Luce said.

The extent of Thies’ injuries is unknown, but he has already been treated and released from the hospital.

Thies was injured when propane escaped from a hose after he disconnected it from his propane truck, Luce said. The emergency shutoff valve had been turned off by another employee, which caused 200 to 300 gallons of propane to leak before the valve was activated.

Investigators at the scene found the emergency shutoff valve was not completely in the “off” position, and the main valve at Van Andel Propage wasn’t closed before the hose was disconnected, Luce said. It isn’t clear whether the valve was bumped after the leak occurred.

No one was evacuated in the area when the spill occurred because there aren’t any businesses near the fill station, authorities told 24 Hour News 8.

A portion of I-96 was shut down for about 15 minutes after the leak occurred.

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