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Explosion at dairy farm injures one person, kills 18,000 cattle

17 April 2023

An explosion and fire at a US dairy farm in the city Dimmitt, located around 50 miles (80km) southwest of Amarillo, in northern Texas critically injured one person and killed around 18,000 cattle on April 10.

Image: Castro County Sheriff’s Office
Image: Castro County Sheriff’s Office

The Castro County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it responded to reports of an explosion and fire at the Southfork Dairy Farms, along with local fire departments, at around 19:20 local time. Upon arriving at the site, located around 11 miles outside of Dimmitt, it was determined that one person was trapped inside a barn. Fire crews were able to locate the person and remove them from the building, however they had suffered serious injuries and were flown to hospital.

All other employees were accounted for. Emergency crews stayed at the scene until after 23:00 by which time the fire had been extinguished. Footage taken from several miles away shows a large plume of dark smoke rising into the sky.

The cause of the explosion remains unknown, however Castro County Sheriff Salvador Rivera told reporters that a likely cause was equipment overheating, however the incident would be fully investigated by state fire officials.

An estimated 18,000 cattle are believed to have died as a result of the fire. The incident is believed to be the worst fire involving cattle since the US Animal Welfare Institute began tracking barn fire statistics in 2013.

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