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2 injured in blast at center

Propane tanks exploded after fall

POSTED: December 12, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Jim Dean DCN regional staff/

A medical helicopter with an injured worker takes off from the parking lot of The Father’s House after an explosion Dec. 5 on nearby Easy Street, which is off Hwy. 53 just west of Ga. 400 in Dawson County.

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A 26-year-old Dawson County man is recovering after a propane explosion last week left him with second- and third-degree burns over half his body.

Casey Rickett is in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital's burn ward, according to spokeswoman at the hospital in Atlanta.

Rickett and another man were hospitalized Dec. 5 after an explosion at Amicalola Propane's refurbishment center on Easy Street, off Hightower Parkway.

A tractor-trailer carrying 18 to 20 residential-sized propane tanks was being unloaded when the incident occurred about 6:30 p.m., according to Tim Satterfield, Dawson County Emergency Services deputy chief.

The tanks being offloaded flipped and during the tumble a valve sheared off, releasing a cloud of propane.

The cloud, Satterfield said, found an ignition source and a flash fire ensued, causing an explosion.

Rickett, an employee of Amicalola Propane, was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial. The other man, identified as Jimmy Lassetter of Newnan, was flown to the same hospital.

One worker, later identified as Lassetter, suffered second- and third-degree burns across 70 percent of his body, while Satterfield said the other "was burned across 40 to 50 percent of his body, also second and third degree."

Calls to Amicalola Propane seeking comment were not returned, though owners Matt and Kristen Richardson did post a statement about the accident on the company's social media page.

"On behalf of all the staff here [at Amicalola Propane], we want the Rickett and Lassetter families to know that we are praying for you, and cannot wait to see you all back here soon," the couple wrote.

The Richardsons also thanked emergency personnel for their response to the explosion, as well as the community for its concern and support.

"Your fast and effective response is greatly appreciated, and we are lucky to have you serving our community," they wrote.

"We would also like to thank the Dawson County community and our loyal customers for your overwhelming show of support, concern and prayers for us and more importantly the families involved in this most unfortunate event."

Staff writer Michele Hester contributed to this report.


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