SMITH COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Officials from Texas have arrived in Smith County, to aid in putting out an oil well fire, which was still burning Monday night.
Smith county officials say there was an explosion in the oil field owned by Pan Southern Petroleum, around 10:30 Monday morning. It ignited, sending a fountain of fire and smoke into the sky.
Five workers were working on a rig on the site when the blast occurred. We're told they all escaped without injuries.
Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton said the flame burned so hot, it melted a rig above the well, and part of an 18-wheeler parked next to it.
The oil well is leaking natural gas, which is a by product in the oil extraction process.
Officials say there are no chemicals involved which could threaten the public. Air quality monitors are being put in place just to make sure.
"They're a team coming in, a private team, that's coming in to assess the damage and get a game plan to figure out how they need to go about shutting this down and putting the fire out," said Smith County EMA Director Brian Warren.
Boykin Church Field Road, where the oil well is located, remains closed.
The Mississippi Oil and Gas Board is investigating the explosion. They have not yet determined what caused it.
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