Large fire at Oklahoma gas plant forces major evacuations
A large fire Saturday afternoon engulfed a natural gas plant in the small northern Oklahoma town of Medford. Video posted to social media showed heavy flames and smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air.
The fire occurred at a “natural gas liquids fractionation facility” operated by ONEOK, a company spokesperson confirmed in a statement to CBS News.
ONEOK said it was “unaware of any injuries.”
All residents within a two-mile radius of the plant were asked to immediately evacuate, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported. The number of people being evacuated was unclear, although Medford has a population of about 930 people, according to latest U.S. Census data.
ONEOK was arranging temporary housing for evacuees at several hotels in the nearby city of Enid, Oklahoma, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities did not provide any information on what may have caused the fire.
“Our focus continues working with emergency responders to extinguish the fire and the safety of the surrounding community and our employees,” ONEOK said in its statement.
Medford is located about 15 miles south of the Oklahoma-Kansas border. ONEOK is headquartered in Tulsa.