Lightning Causes Compressor Explosion

From WBNG Binghamton:

Town of Windsor, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After lightning strikes the ventilation stack at the Williams Compressor Station in the Town of Windsor, police and fire personnel said the emergency shut down went as planned.

The fire was contained to the stack within ten minutes, causing no damage to the main building.

"The building, or none of the other sheds, appliances, or anything, were ever involved in fire," said Broome Fire Coordinator Brett Chellis. "The normal vent stack was ignited by lightning, and then they [Williams] went into emergency shut down. Due to that, which purged a lot of remaining gas off, caused a big fireball..."

That big fireball was spotted by Frank Engler and his wife, who live on Dunbar Rd.

"I come upstairs, because I like to watch the lightning and the storms," said Engler. "I was up in the picture window watching the lightning hit the hill and everything and then all of sudden, the lightening just hit the compressor station and there were flames, hundreds of feet up in the air."

State Police, Windsor Fire, and Broome County Fire all responded, and immediately called an evacuation.

According to police and fire personnel, five people were inside the adjacent building, but no one was hurt.

They say, as of 7:30 p.m., it is safe for residents to return to their homes.