The Bossier City, La., Fire Department responded to an oil storage tank explosion that occurred at approximately 1:40 p.m. Tuesday in a pasture about 100 yards off the 2800 block of Benton Road.
A man who works for an oil transport company based in Houston, Texas was in the process of offloading oil from one of two storage tanks onto a tanker truck when the storage tank exploded. The resulting fire generated an enormous cloud of black smoke that could be seen from several miles away.
The explosion catapulted the storage tank up and over the tanker truck. The storage tank landed about 50 feet away. The man escaped injury.
The first fire crews arrived on the scene within three minutes after the call came into the fire department and were among three responding engine companies that fought the fire with fire suppressing foam. It took them about 15 minutes to put the fire out.
One firefighter sustained minor burns to his hands due to the extreme heat generated by the fire, despite wearing protective gloves. He was taken to Willis-Knighton Hospital in Bossier City where he was treated and released, however he will be off from work for two shifts due to his injuries.
During the incident Bossier City Police had to shut down Benton Road to traffic from I-220 north to Greenacres Boulevard for about a half hour.
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Personnel with the Louisiana State Police Hazardous Material Unit and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are also looking into the incident.