OSHA investigates propane explosion and fire at Veterans Affairs construction site in Aurora

No injuries in overnight explosion

AURORA, Colo. - An explosion sparked a fire at the Veterans Affairs construction site at E. 17th Ave. and Fitzsimons Pkwy in Aurora overnight. That's just a few blocks northwest of E. Colfax Ave. and Interstate 225.

A 1,000 pound propane tank exploded around midnight, according to the Aurora Fire Department.

No work was taking place in the area at the time of the blast and no one was hurt.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors have joined Aurora Fire in investigating the cause of the explosion, said Herb Gibson, OSHA director for the metro Denver area.

A security guard on scene said she was about 50 feet from the explosions.

"I heard a loud noise like a dumpster being dropped," said Jen Burke.

"There was a big fireball in the air," Burke said. "It sounded like it was raining but it was just debris coming down."

The propane is used to provide heat for workers, said Tom Janssen, Director of External Affairs for Kiewit Corporation.

"We will suspend work in the area today while the fire department and KT investigate the incident, but do not expect that this incident will impact the construction schedule," Janssen said Tuesday.

Two tanks were involved and crews decided to let the fuel burn off.

It took about an hour for Aurora firefighters to extinguish the flames.


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