JOHNSON COUNTY, AR (News release) – A Clarksville resident was killed at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24 after a tank he was attempting to de-thaw exploded at a trucking company in Knoxville.
Workers at the company were using a propane torch to loosen ball valves on the back of the tanker trucks.
The victim was struck by a metal hatch plate that was blown off of the back of the tank. Two other hatches on top of the tanker were also blown off by the force of the explosion.
The victim has been identified as Daniel Rice, 33.
Other personnel were near the explosion but were not injured.
Knoxville Fire Department responded to the scene and first responders worked on the victim as EMS arrived.
In addition to the Knoxville Fire Department, units from the Johnson County Office of Emergency Services, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Arkansas State Police responded to the scene.
The tankers are designed to haul wastewater from drilling sites and it appears methane gas had built up in the tank which triggered the explosion.
The explosion was felt as far away as a mile and a half from the scene.