Four firefighters and four Traditions Oil & Gas employees received an unpleasant surprise this morning when a second explosion occurred at the scene of lsat night’s oil tank battery explosion just east of Borger.
“I thought the headline of today’s paper was going to be ‘Eight dead after an explosion, after a tank battery explosion,” said Evan Schmidt, pumper for Tradition’s Oil & Gas.
After last night’s explosion, everyone seemed to believe things were settling down. Evan, his father, Tony McPhearson, and a few firefighters were assessing the damage of the explosion the night before and thinking of ways to put out the last remnants of burning fire. It wasn’t until they were only about 30ft away from a pool of oil left on the ground did they hear the sound that would alert them of what was to come.
“We kind of got a strong hissing sound right before the explosion, which gave us enough time to escape. We were pretty shaken up. We were lucky everybody came out alive,” said Gabe Rivera, Borger Fire Dept. Captain.
“While we were assessing the damage, I guess there had been some oil leaks from the tanks overnight, there was a huge explosion,” said Schmidt.
No one was injured in this morning’s unexpected second explosion. A few reported singed hoodies or skin that felt as if it had been sunburned, but many just said they felt lucky to walk away from an incident like that.
The tank battery fire broke out east of Borger near Skellytown off Ranch Road 280 in the the Spring Creek area near Watkins Camp last night between 9-10 pm. Firefighters responded to reports from residents in the area of a possible explosion and possible grassfire. Once they arrived, they were able to find that the battery of one of the tanks had exploded and were able to contain the fire fairly quickly. By one a.m., officials said the fire was pretty much contained but that firefighters would remain on scene until the fire had died down. Around 8 a.m., the second explosion occurred.
The firefighters spent the morning cautiously trying to put foam over the remnants of crude oil on the ground and ensure that any signs of fire were put out. $40,000 worth of damage was done in cruide oil loss alone. However, McPhearson says he is just glad everyone was able to walk away unharmed from the incident.
“Yea it’s a total loss. Everything’s got to be replaced. But everyone walked away safe. A little shook up, but safe,” he said.