Foul Play Feared in IL Oil Plant Blast

Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ 03:09 PM gHale

MDM Energy’s tank battery facility in Effingham County, IL, ended up destroyed Sunday after a fire following an explosion, and the company suspects foul play.

Damages involved the tank battery and no oil rigs suffered harm in the incident and no employees were present at the time of the explosion. The facility underwent recent upgrades for new oil wells, MDM Energy, a privately held, Texas-based company, said.

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After fire officials had extinguished the first explosion, there was another fire that destroyed the facility completely, said MDM’s Chief Executive, Michael Rafael.

Officials are reviewing security camera footage as they suspect foul play, he said. Despite the fire and explosion, Rafael said there was no environmental damage.

There were no injuries or crude oil leaks from the incident, said Watson Township Fire Department Chief Matt Kulesza.

The fire department also reported the explosion in a filing with Illinois Emergency Management Agency, noting the fire was out.