Lightning strike causes explosion at Hydro Clear Saltwater Disposal Plant in McKenzie County

 Saltwater plant fire: Courtesy of Brad Eliason
Saltwater plant fire: Courtesy of Brad Eliason (KFYR)
Published: Jun. 4, 2019 at 11:54 AM CDT
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UPDATE: The Department of Mineral Resources says a fire caused 3,407 barrels of brine to spill at a saltwater disposal facility 16 miles northeast of Alexander.

Regulators say a lightning strike Monday night sparked the fire.

They say cleanup will start once hot spots are put out.

UPDATE: There have been several explosions in the Bakken since the reported lightning strike at Hydro Clear Saltwater Disposal Plant Monday night. The area is still smoldering according to the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office.

A witness says the disposal plant is destroyed, along with all four or five of the 500 barrel tanks.

Officers say they don’t know how long the fire will burn, but it’s best to let it burn itself out. They say spraying the tanks with more water could spread the saltwater into the ground, and cause environmental damage.

ORIGINAL STORY: A fire broke out Monday night at a Hydro Clear Saltwater Disposal Plant after an explosion at the site.

The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office says the explosion was caused by a lightning strike.

Traffic on 37th street Northwest from 128th Ave northwest to County Road 35 is closed due to safety concerns.

The fire department and law enforcement closely monitored the fire throughout the night.

No injuries have been reported and the investigation is ongoing.

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