DIMMITT, TX – A massive explosion at a Texas dairy farm on Monday is responsible for the death of approximately 18,000 cows and the critical injuring of one person, authorities say.
Castro County Sheriff Sal Rivera confirmed that the explosion took place at the Southfork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt, located in the Texas Panhandle; the cows were tightly packed in a holding area while they were waiting to be brought in to be milked when the blast took place, with very few of the unfortunate beasts surviving.
“Your count probably is close to that,” Rivera told local media regarding the number of cows who died. “There’s some that survived, there’s some that are probably injured to the point where they’ll have to be destroyed.”
Authorities initially received multiple phone calls at approximately 7:00 p.m. Monday about the explosion at the farm. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered a woman was trapped inside the flaming dairy building; after she was rescued, she was airlifted to UMC Hospital in Lubbock where she is currently listed as being in critical condition.
All of the other employees at the farm have been confirmed to be safe and accounted for.
As of now, the cause of the explosion is unknown and is under investigation by the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office according to Sheriff Rivera, although he said that foul play is not currently suspected.
“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 said.