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Oil tank explosion injures one worker

CLARKE COUNTY — The fire from an oil storage tank explosion that injured one person and forced the evacuation of about 150 people near Pachuta has been extinguished, a spokesman for the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office said.

The tank exploded late Friday, sparking an intense fire that sent a plume of smoke hundreds of feet in the air.

Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said residents were evacuated from the area south of Pachuta on County Road 280 at about 4:30 p.m. Fire and fumes made it difficult for emergency fire crews to fight the massive blaze.

Kemp said it wasn’t clear what caused the explosion. He said a vacuum truck driver at the site suffered third degree burns and was transported to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel. On July 10, the sheriff’s office said there were no other injuries.

The explosion occurred at the West Nancy Oil Field just off U.S. Highway 11. Kemp said this was a storage facility owned by Denbury Resources Inc. of Laurel.

Residents who were evacuated out of the area were given hotel rooms in Quitman paid for by Denbury, he said.

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