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18K Cattle Dead After Explosion at Texas Dairy

One worker was critically injured in the blast
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2023 1:27 AM CDT

A devastating explosion at a Texas dairy farm left at least 18,000 cattle dead Monday. The explosion at the Southfork Dairy Farm in Dimmitt was reported around 7:21pm, and law enforcement arrived on the scene to find one woman trapped inside the dairy building. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition, WFAA reports. All other employees were uninjured. As for the cattle, very few at the facility survived, the Castro County Sheriff tells KFDA. "There’s some that survived, there’s some that are probably injured to the point where they’ll have to be destroyed," he says.

The cause of the explosion has not yet been confirmed, but the sheriff says a machine could have overheated, sparking the blast. "The speculation was probably what they call a honeybadger, 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," he says. The Animal Welfare Institute says this is the deadliest barn fire for cattle overall. "My heart goes out to each person affected by the fire and explosion at South Fork Dairy," the Castro County judge says. "While the loss of so many animals and property is devastating, I am so thankful that there was no loss of human life." (More Texas stories.)

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