Two missing after Texas natural gas explosion : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nation: Two missing after Texas natural gas explosion

The Associated Press LONGVIEW, Texas (October 23, 2000 12:18 a.m. EDT - A series of explosions Sunday at a natural gas storage facility in Texas seriously injured one person, and two others were believed to be missing, authorities said.

"Right now, we can't get in there," Gregg County Sheriff Bobby Weaver said.

Weaver said about 200 residents living within a three-mile radius of the Martin Resource Management Corp. gas plant were evacuated for fear a butane tank holding 30,000 gallons of fuel might explode. A stretch of nearby Interstate 20 was closed.

"The safest way to fight this - and most environmental - is to let it burn," said Gregg County Fire Marshal Jerry Pierce. "There is no way to fight it until we know the cause and volume involved."

He said at least two explosions occurred when a tanker truck containing 8,000 gallons of the fuel was transferring it into a storage tank.

"I thought it was thunder at first and then I turned around and the truck exploded," Dean Hensley, who owns property near the plant, told the Longview News-Journal. "The two guys in between the truck and the storage tank were completely gone. They never got out."

Billy Davis, 57, was hospitalized with second and third degree burns, said Laird Memorial Hospital spokesman Archie Whitfield. Whitfield said the plant worker apparently had his back to the site where the explosion occurred. Longview is located in northeast Texas.,4455,500271712-500423720-502640644-0,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, October 23, 2000

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