Mississippi – The Police Department of the City of Pascagoula reported that an explosion had occurred at the BP gas plant along the Gulf coast. The event alarmed everyone as the vibrations were felt as far as 10 miles away, but the police department said no one was injured in the event.
The officials posted the info on Facebook around 1:30 a.m. this Tuesday, and a lot of people tagged their loved ones. Apparently, there was a group of pranksters feeding fake info before the official report.
“We would like to let our citizens know that there has been an explosion at the BP Gas Plant, located at 6800 Stennis Blvd. It is contained to the building. We are working with state and local officials regarding this. There will be no evacuations at this time, and there are no injuries. We will update you as more details become available,” reads the post issued by the Pascagoula Police Department on Facebook.
Steve Alexander, a journalist with WKRG, which is a CBS-affiliated television station, got in touch with the residents in the area, and local authorities. Earl Etheridge, Jackson County Emergency Services manager, told the news chain all the known details. According to him, the explosion took place at the BP gas processing plant along the Gulf Coast after a fire set loose in the facilities around 11:30 p.m. He said only 2 employees were covering that shift, and that they managed to get into a safe place before the detonation.
An explosion erupts into a massive fire overnight at a BP gas plant in Mississippi. https://t.co/AikkJpvfrYhttps://t.co/6SyrDBbUuz
— Mornings with Maria (@MorningsMaria) June 28, 2016
There was a voluntary evacuation
The Pascagoula Police Department did not issue an evacuation order, but the shockwave gave a good scare to the people living nearby, so they left the area as a precaution. The emergency team urged the residents from the surrounding area to stay away while the response team and the firefighters dealt with the massive fire. Some of them said the flames were tall as buildings.
Apparently, there was a group of pranksters spreading false information on Facebook about the events. Facebook users denounced this on the police department’s post. Some residents still remember the events in Raleigh in 2006. In that incident, three contractors working for Stringer Oilfield Services died while another man was seriously injured. The reports say the three men were working on top of four oil production tanks when one of the tools ignited flammable gas ending up in a huge explosion followed by a long lasting fire.
This is the third event related to gas in the United States this year. The first was a gas leak in Crooksville in February that forced the authorities to evacuate around 500 people, and the second was in March, when a truck carrying wastes from a gas plant was involved in a traffic accident. The vehicle spilled its cargo in the waters near Barnesville Alabama.
So far, the authorities have said nothing about the cause of the explosion, and the company has not issued an official statement.
Source: ABC News