WAYNE, NJ – Route 23 South was closed for almost five hours Friday morning in Wayne due to the fear of an explosion from a 40-pound propane tank that was damaged in a motor vehicle accident. The incident occurred at approximately 8:39am near the jug handle next to Kohls.

The accident involved a car and a box truck that overturned.  The truck had a 40-pound propane cylinder attached to it. The valve at the top of the propane tank was sheared off in the accident and propane was venting in the air.

Wayne Police cleared the scene for Wayne Fire Companies #2 and #5 who responded to the scene along with the Wayne EMS, the State Police, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation.

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“With the valve sheared off, we couldn’t stop the propane from leaking,” said Wayne fire commissioner Bob Minnarick. “We let it self-leak for two hours before we felt it was safe enough to approach.”

A member of the Wayne Special Response Team approached, and with two firefighters spraying him and the tank with hoses to help prevent a spark that could cause an explosion, carefully removed the valve of the tank allowing the gas to leak faster.

When the cylinder emptied, the truck was righted, and the fire department secured the scene. The incident closed the Route 23 Southbound lanes closed for almost five hours. The Northbound lanes were closed down to two lanes for three hours.

There were no injuries reported.