TODAY   |  July 30, 2013

Explosions injure workers at Fla. plant

A large series of explosions that began late Monday night at a gas plant in Florida have injured several workers and forced the evacuation of residents up to at least a mile away. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> near orlando, florida. it's a real blessing that so far no one died from these multiple explosions at a propane facility.

>> about 50,000 tanks were kept there. blasts sent huge plumes of fire into the sky and it took several hours to get a handle on the situation. mark potter is there for us this morning. mark, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning to you, savannah. the blasts and flames could be seen for miles. the fire is under control as officials try to figure out exactly why this happened.

>> you know, there they go, boom, boom, boom. like three, four in a row.

>> reporter: explosion after explosion. some caught on live tv . authorities say they don't know what caused the fire that sparked multiple blasts at the blue rhino plant. a propane business about 27 miles northwest of orlando.

>> this is one of the worst fires i've ever come across in the central florida area.

>> the explosions began before 11:00 p.m . on monday and spread to tractor trailers loaded with propane tanks. the facility which fills cylinders and transports them daily held 53,000 tanks on site.

>> as the fire continued to spread there were more explosions. obviously presented problems for the fire patrol to get them under control.

>> possibility explosions blue rhino . we've had multiple 911 calls. possible 100 foot flames in the area.

>> reporter: residents describe sounds close to a shotgun or fireworks using social media to share the news.

>> we heard big booms. real loud noises. we lookout side and this big fire . he came out of the house started running. i got no shoes, no phone. didn't know if it was anything close buy. anything we could do.

>> reporter: 24 to 26 people were scheduled to work the night shift at blue rhino and so far all employees have been accounted for. seven people were transported to area hospitals. now in an update, officials now say eight people were injured. they're also saying that the likely cause is a mix of equipment failure and perhaps human era . this is not sabotage as far as they can tell. they also say that all the residents in the area who were evacuated are now back in their homes, savannah.