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RAW VIDEO: Fire & explosion at pellet plant
WOODVILLE - by Scott Lawrence
*Video includes comments from Sheriff Bryan Weatherford and Woodville Mayor Ben Bythewood*
KFDM News has confirmed a fire and explosion rocked a pellet plant in Woodville, shaking homes at least a half mile away but causing no reported injuries, according to information Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford provided to KFDM News.
Stay with KFDM and kfdm.com for updates.
The explosion was reported at about 7:30 p.m. Monday at German Pellets off Highway 69 in Woodville.The plant makes wood pellets for shipment overseas, primarily to the European Union, for use as fuel. The pellet plant opened last year.
Sheriff Bryan Weatherford told KFDM News that as of about 8:30 the fire was contained to one silo and there were no reported injuries. Fire departments from across the region have responded, spraying water and foam on the fire.
One woman who lives in the area, Tracy Litton, spoke with KFDM News by phone.
"I heard a boom at about 7:30 p.m.," Litton told KFDM News. "I live about half a mile from the plant. I heard a big boom. It shook our barn. I didn't know what it was. Then we heard sirens."
Mayor Ben Bythewood also spoke with KFDM News Monday night.
"Our primary concern is the people inside and outside the plant, that they are protected," Mayor Bythewood told KFDM News. "We had most of the fire departments in Tyler County respond within about five minutes of the explosion. They've been cooling down the tower."
The mayor says the plant has an enormous impact on the city and county economy.
"It's a major economic benefit," said Mayor Bythewood. "A lot of livelihoods depend on it. We want to make sure it's successful and safe. Our first concern is public safety."
He says about 25-30 people work in the plant, trucks move in and out 24 hours a day. He says the direct and indirect economic impact is tremendous.
The mayor says it's the first incident he knows of at the plant.