NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A propane fire on Liberty Island prompted an evacuation of the Statue of Liberty monument and partial evacuation of the park.
According to National Park Police, a call came in to the FDNY around noon for a fire burning in a construction zone for the new security screening facility for the island.
Officials found a 100-pound propane tank was on fire while a second tank had tipped over and was leaking fuel and a third tank was nearby. Both were about 200 feet from the base of the Statue of Liberty.
The area was closed to the public, and the only people in the area were construction crews. Visitors to the island were evacuated from the State of Liberty monument itself and moved to a plaza area determined to be a safe while firefighters contained the blaze.
FNDY officials said the fire took two hours to contain, and the evacuation of about 3,400 people was ordered to keep visitors in the park safe.
“You had no choice, with that much propane, a bleve – which is one of the tanks exploding would’ve been a catastrophic,” said Chief Roger Sakowich. “Anybody near it, scrap metal would’ve been flying from quite some distance, and tremendous balls of fire when a propane tank does explode like that.”
One construction worker suffered minor injures, was treated on scene and released, according to park police.
There was no damage to monument.