Natural gas explosion on Highway 79 north Carthage controlled

Video still courtesy Raymond Foster
Video still courtesy Raymond Foster

CARTHAGE, TX (KTRE) - Two explosions Wednesday near outside of Carthage near a gas processing plant sparked grass fires and burned a trailer and some parked vehicles.

An official with the Carthage Fire Department says no injuries are reported.

The natural gas explosion along Highway 79 North is under control.  It rocked an area near the gas processing plant in eastern Texas, causing a fire and prompting the evacuation of nearby residents.

Company officials say employees from the DCP Midstream East Texas complex in Carthage were evacuated Wednesday morning. The plant was shut down.

Company officials say a highway next to the plant has been blocked.

Witnesses report 300 and 400 foot flames and say it sounds like a jet engine.

East Texas News spoke with a motorist traveling in that area who described the explosion as huge.  He said shortly after the explosion, traffic was backed up and the loop at Highway 79 in Carthage was blocked with no one being allowed in or out of the area.

As of 2:20 pm, Highway 79 is closed from FM Road 123 to Loop 59 on the north side of Carthage.

Plant crews are now focusing on shutting down the gas flow to the pipeline. Crews cannot say how long that will take.

According to DCP Midstream's company website, the plant takes liquid natural gas from raw natural gas, then breaks that down into products such as ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline components.

Our East Texas news crew remains on the scene and will continue to keep you updated on KTRE-TV and as we learn more.

Click here to see a map of the area:

Carthage is located about 175 miles east of Dallas, near the Louisiana border.