Approximately 18,000 cows were killed, and one person was critically injured, in an explosion at a dairy farm in the Texas Panhandle on Monday.
The Castro County Sheriff’s Office confirmed with Fox News Digital that the cows were in a holding area before being brought in for milking when the blast occurred at the Southfork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt.
Very few cows in the holding area survived, officials told local outlet KFDA.
“Your count probably is close to that. There’s some that survived, there’s some that are probably injured to the point where they’ll have to be destroyed,” Castro County Sherif Sal Rivera told KFDA.
Smoke is visible a day after a massive explosion at a Texas dairy farm that left one person critically injured and 18,000 cattle dead. (Castro County Sheriff’s Office)
The explosion and fire were reported just before 7:30 p.m. Monday at Southfork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt, Texas. (KFDA)
Police said they received eight calls just before 7:30 p.m. Monday about an explosion and fire. Callers said some employees were trapped inside the milking building.
When law enforcement officials arrived at the dairy farm, they determined only a woman was trapped in the dairy building.
Officials said the trapped individual was rescued from the building and airlifted to UMC Hospital in Lubbock for treatment. Lubbock is located about 80 miles from Dimmitt.
Emergency personnel respond to a massive explosion at a dairy farm in Dimmitt, Texas, on Monday. (Castro County Sheriff’s Office)
Plumes of smoke rise a day after a massive explosion at Southfork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt, Texas. (Castro County Sheriff’s Office)
Officials said all the other dairy employees were accounted for and were safe.
The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
“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 told local outlet KSAT.