An explosion at a Texas dairy farm killed approximately 18,000 cows and critically injured one person, Fox News reported.
The cows were in a holding area before being brought in for milking when the blast occurred at the Southfork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt, which is located in the Texas panhandle.
“Your count probably is close to that. There’s some that survived, there’s some that are probably injured to the point where they’ll have to be destroyed,” Castro County Sheriff Sal Rivera told Amarillo’s KFDA.
The explosion created a massive, towering pillar of grey smoke that could be seen for miles.
Police said they received eight calls about the explosion and that employees were believed to be trapped within the building, but upon arrival they found just a lone woman trapped. She was airlifted to UMC Hospital in Lubbock, about 80 miles from the dairy, for treatment.
Officials said all other dairy employees were accounted for and safe.
“The speculation was probably what they call a honey badger, which is a vacuum that sucks the manure and water out and possibly that it got overheated and probably the methane and things like that ignited and spread out and exploded and the fire,” Rivera told San Antonio outlet KSAT.
The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the catastrophe.
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