WYNNEWOOD, Okla. -- Garvin County officials are working double time to keep the flames under control at Wynnewood's oil refinery. Lightening struck a tank filled with naphtha, agent used to mix gasoline.
The unbelievable blaze has kept the town buzzed with curiosity. Day two and emergency officials are still doing the best they can to keep the flames under control, and our cameras were there following all the events
“We’re in trouble because that refinery is packed full of chemicals and everything," said a woman who saw the explosion.
Two explosions caused plumes of smoke to fill the sky. The first caused by the hand of Mother Nature
"We have lightening protection systems in place but sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate," a company spokesman said.
Lightening struck a tank on the east side of the factory starting a fire. A few hours later it spread, triggering the second explosion
"It looked like they had it contained, looked like they had the fire out sometime after that it flared up going from bad to worse."
Emergency officials worked tirelessly into the night. After several hours of fighting the stubborn fire, they realized it will take more than water to douse the flames. The decided it best to leave it alone for a while...
"It could burn for long time there is a lot of product needing to burn off."
With hungry flames being fed by a seemingly endless supply of petroleum by-products, environmental officials are concerned what’s going into the air.
"All the black smoke we’re getting is because of too much fuel and not enough combustion."
Environmental Protection Agency officials say they will make sure those living near the refinery are not breathing potentially harmful toxins.
"We have done significant air monitoring and we had determined there is not immediate health risk because its going up so high and being dispersed by the wind."
Air quality isn’t an issue and officials are hoping these flames will die soon in Wynnewood. The effects of the fire can be seen for more than 50 miles. It’s still burned on into Saturday night. However it has been contained and officials haven’t reported any injuries.
Firefighters and factory officials say because of the excess fuel they will have to wait until the fire burns most of it out.