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April 4, 2012

Terror alert triggered by Westbrook driver's load of fuel tanks

Emergency teams detain a suspicious black van towing 13 propane tanks ... for use in building a pontoon boat.

By David Hench
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Above, emergency responders assist Monday before a black van transporting propane tanks is loaded onto a flatbed truck on River Road in Windham. Below, the van and truck are headed for a gravel pit in Gorham, where any remaining propane was to be burned off.

Photos by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Emergency personnel at the scene asked nearby residents to stay in their homes until the situation was declared safe, Nichols said.

Shortly before 3 p.m., workers with Shaw Brothers Construction of Gorham used a boom truck to hoist the trailer onto a flatbed, which was then driven to a gravel pit in Gorham.

Wescott said the remaining propane would be burned off under the direction of the safety team for Downeast Energy, the natural-gas utility.

Prokey was charged with theft by receiving stolen property for possessing a stolen propane tank worth $400, said Windham police Lt. David DeGruchy. He was released on bail later in the day.

Tucker said he spoke about the incident with Prokey, who thought the authorities "blew it out of proportion."

He said he and Prokey had emptied the propane tanks and welded them closed, so they were safe. He said his friend is very intelligent and just wanted to put the finishing touches on his boat.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Correction: This story was revised at 1:22 p.m., April 4, 2012, to correctly name the company whose safety team supervised the burning off of remaining propane. it was Downeast Energy, the natural gas utility.

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