ELDORADO, Texas —
As lightning and heavy rains covered most of West Texas Wednesday morning, black smoke could be seen for miles near Eldorado.
A battery tank was struck by lightning, causing it to ignite.
“Approximately, 7:15 this morning we received a call about a lightning strike to a tank battery fire,” TJ Rodriquez, Eldorado Fire Department assistant fire chief, said.
The fire happened on private property, and some of the acreage is leased out to Oxy USA Inc.
Rodriquez said that no gas lines were active and the tank was isolated from any other structures.
“The top had blown off of the tank; nobody was injured, and no one was on site when this happened,” Rodriquez said.
This was the only lightning strike reported in the area from Wednesday morning’s thunderstorm.
“A phone line went down today, across the highway, but other than that there was not any major damage,” Rodriquez said.
The Texas Railroad Commission said in a statement: "Protection of public safety and our natural resources is the Railroad Commission’s highest priority. Oxy USA Inc. notified our San Angelo District Office at about 10:40 a.m. this morning about a tank battery fire in Eldorado. We have an inspector at the site. Preliminary information is that approximately 80 barrels of oil was in the tank. The operator has built a 4-foot high dike around the tank to contain any spill from the tank. The Commission’s role will be to oversee the operator’s cleanup of the site until it is brought into compliance with Railroad Commission rules"