One of the victims in recent Mississippi oil tank explosion dies

Published 6:27 am Saturday, August 6, 2022

One of the six workers who were injured in a recent oil tank explosion has died.

Officials with the Madison County coroner’s office said one of the victims, Luke Walker, 25, of Bay Springs, died at Merit Health Central on Aug. 4.

The explosion happened at a saltwater disposal site in Madison County on July 29.

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At least six people sustained burns on at least 50% of their bodies, with one being burned from head to toe, said Minor Norman, the Madison County Fire Coordinator.

Two people were airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center for treatment.

One of the other victims has been released from the hospital.

On the day of the explosion, Norman said investigators did not know what caused the explosion.

“We’re not sure what caused it,” Norman said. “There were four storage tank facilities to hold products from oil wells. They (the workers) were in the process of changing out two tanks with new fiberglass tanks. They were getting ready to go into service when the older tank exploded.”

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality was called to the site to investigate.

The injured people are employees of W.S. Red Hancock, a Mississippi-based “welding and fabrication” company.