plant explosion shut down roads and forced an evacuation around 3:30 p.m. yesterday in
Frio County. The explosion took place at a Southcross Energy gas plant
located near FM 1538 and Highway 85, which were closed down following
Officials instantly responded to the incident, immediately setting up a
perimeter to help make the accident scene more secure. They also contacted
homeowners in the area to alert them of the danger and instructed many
to leave their homes while the fire was still uncontrollable.
Frio County Sheriff's Office deputies said that evacuation was necessary
because they weren’t sure what was in the air and what else could
catch on fire after the
gas plant explosion. Firefighters couldn’t initially put out the strong flames, leading
to concerns over
health risks for local residents.
The crew was eventually able to shut off a valve, which helped stop the
fire from continually burning.
Two Individuals Injured in Fiery Explosion
One worker at the scene was unloading a tanker when the explosion took
place, resulting in him being caught in the flames. Deputies suspect that
the tanker was carrying oil, causing it to quickly catch on fire. The
employee was quickly airlifted to a San Antonio hospital. While the truck
was completely burned and totaled, the condition of the worker still remains unknown.
A woman was also injured due to the flames. She was taken to a local hospital,
but initial reports indicate that she will recover from her moderate injuries.
Investigation to Be Launched Into Fire
Southcross Energy is planning to launch a full investigation over the next
few days to identify the cause of the oil explosion. Last January 2015,
Southcross Energy was hit with citations from
OSHA for a major fire that took place at their Gregory, TX plant. The company
allowed released flammable liquid and gas that burned for several hours,
lighting up the sky and forcing a similar evacuation.