Investigators search for ignition source in oil tank explosion

Investigators search for ignition source in oil tank explosion

RED SPRINGS (KYTX) -  A lot of questions after an early morning oil explosion at an oil rig in Red Springs.

It was 3 a.m. when an explosion rocked the Red Springs area at FM 14 and County Road 317.

"All of the sudden I heard something like a bomb went off, and I jumped up out of bed and I thought somebody had hit something out here," says Pamela Fralicks, who lives right across the street. 

Family members say Fralicks lives in her home with her son, who is in a wheelchair. 

"It shook my whole house!" she says. "I looked out my window and I saw just big huge flames just up in the air and everything so I called 911."

Fralicks' nephew who lives a half a mile away, says even his house shook.

"We stayed up. I didn't go back to sleep because I was afraid. I didn't know whether it was going to jump the road," Fralicks says.

She eventually found out an oilfield storage tank had exploded. Pieces of it flew almost 100 yards.

About two acres around the tank caught fire, but crews were able to put it out before nearby homes were threatened. 

Griffin Operating Inc. owns the facility. The company attorney tells CBS 19 investigators are trying to find an ignition source. 

He says lightning usually causes explosions like this, but since there was no lightning, things like mechanical failure or vandalism could be to blame. Right now, that's all under investigation.

Fralicks is just glad it's all over.

"I'm thankful no one was hurt. That was a blessing," she says.

She's also thankful that tonight, she might get some peace and quiet. 

This facility is about 50 years old, and it is used for storage. Trucks usually take oil from the tank and sell it.







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