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Plant explosion threatens livelihood of Okla. community

Posted on by SST

An industrial plant explosion in Thomas, Oklahoma may have repercussions for the small town.

NBC news reports that Danlin Industries facility caught fire at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 after workers left for the evening. The fire, which was caused by an unknown source, heated pressurized containers of chemicals, resulting in an explosion. Fire suppression was a difficult task, as pouring water over the chemical fire had potential to cause a reaction. Instead, firefighters waited it out.

"We didn't fight this fire at all. We just let it burn. It was too intense, too dangerous to get close to it," said Warren Manley, of Thomas Emergency Management to Oklahoma's News​9.

By morning the fire had burned itself out, but not before leaving the facility in ruins.

Luckily, nobody was at the plant when the fire started and no injuries have been reported.

Repercussions for the small town
Loss of the facility brought shock to local residents. Danlin Industries Corp., a manufacturer of chemicals for oil companies, was generous to residents. Among the company's donations was a new scoreboard for the local high school football team.

"They just supported our community in every way," said Jennifer Billy, economic coordinator for the city, to News​ OK.

They are also the city's biggest employer. Of Thomas' 1,200 residents, about 75 worked at the plant. Residents expressed concern for the hapless employees.

"Everybody knows somebody that's employed there," resident Jamie King said to News9, "It's like watching your own home burn down."

Residents are hoping the complex is rebuilt. News9 reported that the mayor, city council, and economic developers have offered to help. The owners, however, are still assessing the situation.

Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection.

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