NEW YORK — The Statue of Liberty was evacuated on Monday morning because of a propane fire on the ground.

National Park spokesman Jerry Willis told New Jersey 101.5 the statue was evacuated and visitors removed from Liberty Island after a propane fire started at the site of the new Statue of Liberty museum.

The FDNY responded to the fire as ferries lined up to take visitors off the island. Assistant Chief Roger Sakowich on the FDNY Twitter account said three tanks with 100 pounds of propane were on fire located 100 feet from the water and 200 feet from the base of the statue.

"With that much propane, had one of the tanks exploded – it was would have been catastrophic. We took the precaution to evacuate 3,400 civilians from the island," Sakowich said.

The park reopened around 2 p.m.

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Willis said between 12,000 and 20,000 people were expected to visit the island today.

One construction worker was treated and released for minor injuries, according to Willis.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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