Panhandle remembers history of past area explosions - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Panhandle remembers history of past area explosions

As the people of West continue to push through the loss and tragedy following the fertilizer plant explosion, the people of the Texas Panhandle are remembering and reflecting on similar horrors right here at home.

The Texas Panhandle has endured several massive explosions throughout the years, some claiming many lives, others just causing destruction. But all of them, leaving scars on hearts.

"You just heard boom and saw two guys fly through the air and the other two on the ground, so we took off running," said one witness of the 2007 Dumas Valero Plant explosion.

His description is similar to that of those who witnessed the explosion in West. But even before that witness' description of one 2007 disaster was caught on camera, several massive explosions rocked the Texas Panhandle like the massive blast at the Shamrock Oil Tank Farm in Dumas in 1956 that killed 19 men and injured more than 30 others. Twenty-one years later in 1977, a machine explosion killed three Pantex employees.  In 1987, another 30 people were injured and three more killed in a massive explosion at the Celanese Plant near Pampa.

People of the Panhandle also might remember another explosion in more recent years, the blast that sent the Dumas Valero Plant up in flames and smoke. It happened in 2007 when liquid propane and chlorine ignited, causing a massive blast. The black plume of smoke was seen from as far away as 60 miles. Four people were injured and some 400 were evacuated.

Just about one year later, in 2008, the Sid Richardson Borger Carbon Plant erupted into flames when an explosion is said to have occurred above a boiler at the plant. That blast sent eight people to the hospital.

A gas line explosion in 2009 also wreaked havoc on the community of Bushland, injuring three and evacuating hundreds. Similarly, in Darrouzett just a year later (2010), a worker digging near a gas pipeline sparked an explosion, this one fatal. Two people were killed, another three injured.

Despite being nearly explosion free in the Panhandle even more recently, it's these memories that allow the people of the Panhandle to relate and reach out to the hearts of those suffering in West.

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Learn more about nature and conservation as a Junior Ranger

    Learn more about nature and conservation as a Junior Ranger

    Thursday, March 23 2017 6:35 AM EDT2017-03-23 10:35:23 GMT
    Source: Texas Parks & WildlifeSource: Texas Parks & Wildlife

    Bring the kids out to Palo Duro Canyon to become Junior Rangers, it is a great summer activity for children who love nature and learning about conservation.

    Bring the kids out to Palo Duro Canyon to become Junior Rangers, it is a great summer activity for children who love nature and learning about conservation.

  • North Heights sees improvements from city, patrolmen

    North Heights sees improvements from city, patrolmen

    Wednesday, March 22 2017 11:55 PM EDT2017-03-23 03:55:41 GMT
    A student hugs Cpl. Hegwood outside Carver ECA / Source: KFDAA student hugs Cpl. Hegwood outside Carver ECA / Source: KFDA

    Residents of Amarillo's North Heights said their Community Improvement Plan has now started making positive changes in that neighborhood. Two neighborhood patrol officers have been stationed in North Heights since August, And the CIP went into affect in January. Now, residents and officers are working together to improve that community. Cpl. Clay Hegwood and Ofc. Daniel Smith have become familiar faces in North Heights.     "When we're out on our bike...

    Residents of Amarillo's North Heights said their Community Improvement Plan has now started making positive changes in that neighborhood. Two neighborhood patrol officers have been stationed in North Heights since August, And the CIP went into affect in January. Now, residents and officers are working together to improve that community. Cpl. Clay Hegwood and Ofc. Daniel Smith have become familiar faces in North Heights.     "When we're out on our bike...

  • BSA Hospice Building finds new life with Faith City Mission

    BSA Hospice Building finds new life with Faith City Mission

    Wednesday, March 22 2017 10:58 PM EDT2017-03-23 02:58:37 GMT

    The BSA Hospice Building was closed down last April and the hospital has been looking at options for it's use.

    The BSA Hospice Building was closed down last April and the hospital has been looking at options for it's use.

Powered by Frankly