VAN (AP/Staff) – An explosion and fire in an oil storage tank just north of Van has injured two, one critically, and we now know their names: Brandy Wolfe and H.R. Price, both 24. The two were allegedly trespassing at the time of the incident. Van Zandt County Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Allen says firefighters began battling the blaze around 3:00 Tuesday morning. Allen says Wolfe and Price were smoking on top of a storage tank when one of the tanks blew up. Both victims were sent to the burn unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Allen says Wolfe is on life support.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas Railroad Commission remained on the scene to ensure cleanup. Allen says the fire ended up completely destroying three 400-barrel storage vessels, while three other 400-barrel storage vessels were damaged.
According to Allen, there was a breach in the tank dike which resulted in a small amount of salt water and raw crude oil making its way into a small creek. Allen reports, “The creek has been boomed and the effects are extremely limited as a result of quick thinking and response by fire department.” He says the operator of the storage facility is Three Folks Operating Company, LLC, of Flatonia.