Oil and gas storage tank explodes in Damascus

By Jamison Cocklin



An oil and gas storage tank exploded Thursday afternoon near a property on Diagonal Road in Damascus.

The Damascus Fire Department, along with Goshen Township police, responded to the incident behind a property at 13655 Diagonal Road about 3:45 p.m. No one was injured.

Detective Kevin Stratton of the Goshen Township Police Department said no smoke or fire broke out and it was still unclear Friday what caused the blast when the cap on the tank blew off, rupturing the tank.

Chief John Bricker of the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department said it was likely that static electricity caused the blast. He said the tank, an older model, hooked up to a nearby producing oil and gas well owned by S&S energy, was blown off its foundation. The tank was being removed Friday. The company planned to replace it.

Bricker added that the tank was only a quarter full when the explosion occurred, letting go a small amount of oil. The company, based in Rittman, was called to clean up the spill.

Property owners in the area reported a white plume of smoke, but none was visible when firefighters arrived, Stratton said. Landowners in the area also reported a loud noise.

The incident comes after two similar incidents, one in Wayne County’s Chippewa Township and another in Minerva, when storage tanks exploded in early March just days apart. In those instances, firefighters were called in to extinguish the flames.

Bricker said the incident is not unusual for his department, which he said deals with about two tank explosions per year.

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