Car crash leads to explosion near Exxon gas station

Car crash leads to explosion near Exxon gas station
‘It literally sounded like a space shuttle taking off’

Residents of a town in central Texas were told to evacuate their homes overnight after an explosion near an Exxon gas station, where a gas pipeline burst into flames.

The Mansfield Fire Department said it responded to an explosion near the gas station on state highway 287 in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a collision.

It said a vehicle collided with a gas pipeline at about 1am, causing a “major fire”.

Video and images showed flames towering into the air above the state highway, with fire responders trying to bring the gas fire under control.

“My wife actually woke me up,” said Mansfield resident Zachery Hagerty, who described seeing flames about “40 or 50 feet in the air”.

“As soon as I opened my eyes, I saw just bright orange in the room and a vibrating of the house. I could feel the house shaking,” he told NBC 5. “It was definitely a very frightening situation.”

“My wife even mentioned, ‘Is God is coming back?’ Because she thought it was the rapture, it literally sounded like a space shuttle taking off”, he added.

An evacuation order was enforced for residents within a one mile radius of the explosion, and a shelter was made available at the Annette Perry Elementary on Main Street.

The fire department said the blaze was brought under control by 4am, and that residents were able to return to their home.

“There are still road closures in the area, including [highway] 287”, the department added in a Twitter thread.

Atmos Energy, a utilities company that supplies Texas with has, told the news station that gas connections to the area were shut while repair work was carried out.