One man is killed Thursday and four others injured after an explosion at a Carbon Dioxide plant. It happened near Muleshoe at about 4:30 Thursday afternoon. The blast was so powerful, it sent shards of half-inch thick steel up to a quarter of a mile away. The debris also clipped power lines and caused temporary outages in Muleshoe.
Four injured employees of the plant are being treated at the Muleshoe Area Medical Center. Three are in serious condition. The name of the man who was killed will not be released until his remains can be positively identified.
Investigators say three tanks at the plant exploded, and the cause is still under investigation. The plant is owned by Reliant Processing out of Odessa. It is a Co2 distillery processing plant. Police closed a portion of the highway betweem Muleshoe and Portales for about three hours Thursday night. Traffic had to be rerouted during that time.
Meanwhile, the remaining tanks at the plant have been shut down. Teams from O.S.H.A and HAZ-MAT will be on the scene first thing Friday morning. Cleanup could take several days.