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Lightning Strikes Gas Tank; Forces Closure of Two Highways

Lightning Strikes Gas Tank; Forces Closure of Two Highways

A firefighter sits in his SUV as a massive fire in a gasoline storage facility burns early Sunday morning June 13, 2010 in Greensboro. Officials received a call at 12:45 A.M. after a driver on I-40 called 911 reporting the blaze. [AP]

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

June 16, 2010

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Two interstate highways were temporarily closed after lightning struck a large gasoline tank early yesterday in North Carolina, officials said.

The closed sections of interstates 40 and 73 through Greensboro were reopened within hours, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said.

The tank’s owner, Colonial Pipeline Co., said the burning gasoline was extinguished by firefighters using special foam, and crews remained on the scene to put out any flare-ups.

Authorities said lightning struck the tank at the Colonial Pipeline tank farm near I-40 shortly after midnight.

No injuries or evacuations were reported.

Colonial Pipeline said it resumed normal operations after the fire, which caused it to temporarily halt pipeline deliveries in and out of the hub.

Company spokesman Steve Baker said product deliveries on pipelines in and out of Greensboro, the largest tank farm in the company’s pipeline system, were stopped earlier in the day. The location has 72 fuel tanks.


One line for cutline goes to book as A gasoline storage tank burns in Greensboro early Sunday morning June 13, 2010 after a lightning storm ignited the tank. [AP]

The tank was about half full when the fire broke out. About 150 firefighters responded to the blaze. At least four were treated for heat exhaustion.