Van Zandt County
7:09 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Explosion injures two

Two 24-year-olds have been injured in explosion and fire at an oil and gas firm's facility north of Van.

The facility is on State Highway 110 north of Van, in Van Zandt County. Three Forks Energy, which operates the location, said the facility has six tanks that hold saltwater produced in oil wells. The saltwater is stored there before being injected into disposal wells, a company spokesman said.

Around 3 a.m. Tuesday, emergency responders got a call about a fire at the facility. Two burn victims, both 24 years old, were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

One of the victims, a woman, is reported to be on life support, while the other, a man, has burns to his face, chest, and arms, officials said. The names of both the victims are being withheld until family are notified.

Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Chuck Allen said the two victims were allegedly smoking on top of the storage tanks when they exploded.

The tanks contained crude oil, condensate and saltwater, a Three Forks Energy executive said. Three fiberglass tanks were detroyed and two empty metal tanks were damaged, the company said.