A lightning strike in Oxford resulted in a significant gas explosion at a recycling plant, causing local power outages. Witnesses reported a loud explosion and a “fireball” illuminating the sky,Daily Trust reports.
Emergency services are responding to the incident, and according to a representative from Severn Trent Green Power, no injuries have been reported. Videos and images shared on social media depict a fiery pyramid on the horizon, enclosed by a yellow and orange mushroom-like shape.
Severn Trent Green Power confirmed that biogas from a container ignited at its Cassington AD Facility, near Oxford airport, around 7:20 pm. They are collaborating with emergency services to secure the site. This facility processes over 50,000 tons of solid and liquid waste annually.
Residents in the area described an intense thunder and lightning storm that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Many experienced power outages, with service gradually being restored. Witnesses mentioned seeing “orange lightning” and hearing sounds resembling a car crash outside their homes. One individual on social media reported, “The sky was glowing for about two minutes and then it just disappeared.”
Power outages have been reported in various areas, including Witney, Burford, Chipping Norton, and Milton-under-Wychwood, as per the BBC.
A statement from Thames Valley police indicated, “Our officers are currently at the scene of a fire at a waste plant near Yarnton, Oxfordshire. It is believed that lightning struck gas containers at the site during bad weather this evening, causing a large fire.”
The Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms in Oxford on Monday evening.