One person was killed and three were injured when an Anadarko oil tank battery caught fire Thursday afternoon near Mead.
The Weld County Sheriff's Office says when deputies arrived at the scene near Highway 66 and Weld County Road 13 at around 3:15 p.m., the battery was fully engulfed in flames.
One worker at that site was killed. Three others were injured -- all critically. The Weld County Sheriff's Office says that one of the three who was hurt has serious burns. Another also suffered burns but they are not as severe. We do not have details on the third person's injuries.
Contract crews were working on what is called a battery, a tank or group of tanks that collect crude oil before it goes into a pipeline.
It's the second fatal explosion at or near an Anadarko site in Weld County in the last two months.
We still don’t know what started this fire but it was close enough to homes people nearby felt it.
As the tanks billowed flames, Beth Webber looked out her window to see black smoke.
“I could feel it on the floor. Kind of a vibration,” said Webber.
Neighbors rushed to call 911.
“They were overwhelmed with call already,” said Ed Saunders.
The fire was far enough away the sheriff’s office is telling the community they are safe.
“There shouldn’t be any threats to nearby homes,” said Corporal Turner.
No one nearby was evacuated and no homes were damaged in the fire.
Nevertheless, firefighters said Friday they will go door-to-door to make sure no gas is detected in residences near the site of the fire. They say at this point, no gas has been detected.
A column of smoke from the fire was visible for miles Thursday afternoon.
The Weld County Sheriff's Office, Anadarko, and several small municipalities that first responded to the fire remained on scene Thursday afternoon investigating the incident.
The Weld County Sheriff’s office says since this was an industrial accident Anadarko and agencies like OSHA will be involved in the investigation.
This incident comes a little more than a month after an Anadarko underground line was blamed for a deadly explosion that killed two people in Firestone.
Thursday, state officials confirmed to 9NEWS they have discovered a pocket of potentially explosive methane gas beneath a street in that same neighborhood, which is just a few miles from the site of the battery fire.
Gov. John Hickenlooper released the following statement about the accident:
“Today is about the victims and families of the Mead accident. It’s a terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers are with them and the entire Mead community. Our state agencies are in constant contact with local authorities and have offered our full assistance and resources. We certainly recognize the safety concerns raised given the recent home explosion in Firestone, but at this time we have no reason to believe that there is any relationship between the circumstances that led to these two accidents. It is important to note that this was a workplace incident that also will be investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Our number one priority is public safety. We will continue to work closely with investigating agencies and the industry to better understand the cause of this accident and take any necessary action to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”