Explosion injures 1

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, December 9, 2017

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Quick Response

QUICK RESPONSE – Firefighters work to extinguish a fire caused by an explosion Thursday at a business east of Rhome. One person was injured in the fire. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

An explosion at a business near Rhome around midday Thursday injured a man.

The incident happened at Spartan Chemical just south of Texas 114 east of the Rhome city limits just after noon.

The business owner, Carl Thomas, received second degree burns to the top of his head and his upper body, according to Wise County Assistant Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty.

Thomas was transported by Wise County EMS ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

The explosion happened outside the building, but the exact cause of the explosion is still undetermined.

“He was either transporting one chemical to another container or mixing chemicals, and we’re not sure if a spark may have caused it,” Doughty said.

Thomas was either on a forklift or next to it when the explosion happened.

The chemicals involved, identified as toulene and methanol, are used in oilfield related work.

The explosion resulted in a large column of black smoke that could be seen for miles around. Fire departments from Rhome, Boyd and Newark responded and quickly extinguished the fire on the forklift and several of the containers.

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