A lightning strike caused a major explosion at an oil battery in southwestern Manitoba on Friday afternoon.
RM of Edward councillor Carey Murray said black smoke could be seen billowing from the site southwest of Melita, about three kilometres northeast of Lyleton.
“I went and seen it just after it got hit,” Murray said. “It was just like you’d see on TV. It was billowing out of this ground, and I didn’t know if it was coming up from the ground or the tanks that were on there.”
The explosion happened around 5 p.m., and Murray said about four tanks blew up — two fibreglass and two steel.
“It was something to see,” he said. “It’s just a pile of burned metal there now.”
Reeve Ralph Wang said an oil tanker was either unloading or loading at the time and the driver managed to get away.
“There was no casualties or injuries, but it totally destroyed the site,” he said.
A damage estimate has not yet been determined.
“That would be a big insurance claim, I’m guessing,” Murray said.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 3, 2013