1 Injured In Explosion At Shelbyville Facility - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

1 Injured In Explosion At Shelbyville Facility

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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – One worker was seriously injured in an explosion at a Shelbyville facility on Monday morning.

Shelbyville Police Chief Austin Swing said there were reports that some oil tanks at Southern Energy Co. on Lane Parkway exploded and caught fire around 10:30 a.m.

After initial reports that three people were injured, officials said Tuesday that only one employee was hurt in the blast. He taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville with burns to 50 percent of his body. An identity was not released.

The state fire marshal was on scene Tuesday working to determine the cause of the fire.

All businesses and homes within a half-mile radius were evacuated due to the risk of more explosions, Chief Swing said. Fortunately, there were no other flare-ups beside a small rekindling.

PHOTOS: Shelbyville Explosion

Swing said the building is next door to the Bedford County workhouse where jail inmates who are approved for work release live.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt said most of the trusties at the workhouse were out on work detail when the fire occurred. Animal control workers from neighboring Rutherford County were called in to help evacuate the Bedford County animal shelter. Heidt said both facilities were impacted by smoke, not fire.

Thomas Magnet School students were bused to Harris Middle School as a result of the explosions.

The fire department raised the flood gates to the Duck River to prevent oil-contaminated water from going into the river.

Southern Energy owner Gary King said the facility had recently switched to producing and distributing biofuels.

The lot, on Lane Parkway, is zoned for commercial use.

City Manager Jay Johnson said over the years there have been multiple inquiries as to whether it is actually an industrial facility.

In documents obtained by NewsChannel 5, King said he worked with the city codes and fire departments to comply with all zoning laws.

King did not want to make any sort of statement Monday, saying he was concerned about his injured employees.

As of June 2012, documents showed the owner told the city the facility had 11 storage tanks. Eight were for different types of cooking oil, two were for contaminated water, while another was a 6,000 tank for leftover diesel fuel. 

The company provides oil and other supplies to gas stations in the area, but the explosion happened at an office building.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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