2 killed in Tennessee oil tank blast
June 30, 1999
LIVINGSTON, Tennessee (CNN) -- Two welders working on what they thought was an empty crude oil storage tank near an oil field were killed Wednesday when the tank exploded, according to the Overton County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Poore told CNN that a third injured worker was airlifted to a Chattanooga hospital.
He said the fire that followed the explosion at 7:30 a.m. CT (8:30 a.m. ET) was brought under control in an hour-and-a-half.
"Everything's under control, there's no more danger," said Poore.
Poore said the crew was under the mistaken impression that the storage tanks were empty. While a spark apparently ignited the blast, an investigation is under way.
He said the closest house was 500 to 1,000 feet away, so no evacuations were ordered, and the three workers were the only people at the blast site.
Two other tanks were briefly threatened before the blaze was extinguished.
Each tank has a 6,000 gallon capacity.
The explosion occurred just north of Livingston, which is about 85 miles east of Nashville.
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