18,000 cows killed in devastating US farm explosion

A plume of smoke rising from the farm in Texas.
A plume of smoke rising from the farm in Texas. Copyright AFP PHOTO / FACEBOOK PAGE OF CASTRO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
By Euronews with AFP
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It has been described as the "deadliest livestock farm fire" in Texan history.

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Some 18,000 cows were killed in a dairy farm explosion in the United States, authorities announced on Thursday. 

One person was reportedly injured in the catastrophic blast, occurring in the southern state of Texas. 

"This is the deadliest livestock farm fire in Texas history," said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. "The investigation and clearing is likely to take time." 

Flames from the explosion ravaged throughout the night from Monday to Tuesday on the Southfork dairy farm, near Dimmit, a town in Panhandle region.

Firefighters and police rushed to the scene and "discovered that a person was trapped inside". 

The farm worker was rescued and airlifted to a hospital, the Castro County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook.

The origin of the explosion has not been determined, said Miller, describing the event as "terrible".

“As soon as we know the cause and the facts surrounding this tragedy, we will ensure that the public is fully informed so that such disasters can be avoided in the future,” he added.

Castro County Sheriff Sal Rivera told CBS Amarillo that a barn manure system may have "overheated".

He added methane from the cows could "ignite and then spread with the explosion and the fire". 

An investigation has been opened.

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