One Man is in Critical Condition After Levelland Hot Oil Truck Explosion - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/2/05

One Man is in Critical Condition After Levelland Hot Oil Truck Explosion

A 27-year-old man was listed in critical condition at University Medical Center Wednesday, after a hot oil truck exploded in Southwest Levelland. Early EMS reports indicated Cody Jackson had second and third degree burns on 80% of his body.

The Levelland Fire Department received the call around 4:45, it took them almost two hours to contain the flames. One Levelland firefighter said he hadn't seen a fire of that magnitude since fire school during a training drill.

What started as a typical day at work ended at the emergency room for Cody Jackson, and Levelland residents just a half mile away saw the fire within seconds.

Levelland resident, Bobby Contrares said, "At about 4:45 we saw the smoke, next thing we knew we heard one explosion then 10 to 15 seconds later we heard another explosion and we didn't know what was going on."

A hot oil truck had blown up and flames filled the sky. A fire which would take Levelland, Smyer and Sundown Fire Departments to contain it.

Levelland Fire Chief, Marvin Brewer said, "The first thing we did was call for help because we knew we didn't have the manpower at all to handle the fire of this nature and this size."

NewsChannel 11's towercam picked up video from about 35 miles away. Another man saw the smoke near Hobbs, New Mexico, over 90 miles away.

"When we got about ten miles outside Hobbs, I saw the smoke and told my buddy surely that's not it, and we kept seeing it the closer we got," said Josh Mount, who works in similar oil field settings for Halliburton. He says seeing the aftermath from such an explosion sends a chill through him.

"It's not supposed to happen, we take a lot of precautions to make sure it doesn't happen. Everyone will be a lot safer tomorrow," said Mount.

The well has only been there for a month, Great Western owns it. Two Great Western employees were with Jackson at the time of the explosion, they didn't want to talk on camera, but said it was hard to watch their co-worker suffer.

The fire department doesn't know what caused the fire at this time, but the two employees say it started as a small simple fire, then 30 seconds later is when the explosion occurred.

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