Texas crude oil tanks explode after smokers light up
Officials in Texas say that at least two people were injured on Tuesday after they illegally lit cigarettes on a catwalk over crude oil storage tanks.
Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen told the NBC affiliate in Dallas that at least three of the six 400-barrel fiberglass oil tanks at the facility exploded before 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
A 24-year-old man, H.R. Price, and a 24-year-old woman, Brandy Wolfe, later showed up the Van Fire Department seeking treatment for injuries. The man suffered burns to his face, chest and arms. The woman was described as “critically injured.” They were both taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.
Authorities suspected that the couple were trespassing and smoking on the catwalk at the facility when the explosion occurred. Allen said there was very little oil in the tanks at the time of the accident.
“It sounded like a big bomb went off, it was pretty loud,” resident James Oliver told KHOU.
Watch this video from KHOU, broadcast Jan. 29, 2013.
Watch this video from KXAS, broadcast Jan. 29, 2013.
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