Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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June 25, 2014

Lightning strikes two tank battery sites

By DAVID MAY

GRAFORD – When it comes to tank batteries, lightning can strike twice. Even if it at different places.

Lightning strikes were said to be the cause of fires at two tank storage and disposal sites Wednesday afternoon. The first one took place about 2 miles north of Graford off Turpin Road. The second was at a business off FM Road 337 north of Dye Road, and about a mile south of State Highway 254.

The second one, at K&R Tank Trucks, hit a battery of six tanks – one reportedly filled with petroleum – that sent thick, black smoke billowing into the county’s northwest skies.

The second strike, during a brief rainstorm, had witnesses.

“We were going up 337 and saw the lightning strike,” said interim Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Larry O’Neil at the scene. He estimated the time at around 4:30 p.m.

Battling that fire were firefighters from Graford, Possum Kingdom, Mineral Wells and Lone Camp.

Foam was applied to bring the raging flames under control around 7 p.m.

O’Neil said the tanks at K&R contained saltwater, one with petroleum and others partially filled with fracking and drilling fluid byproducts.

O’Neil said no injuries were reported.

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