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Man killed after tank explodes at Michigan oil-pumping station

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 18:19:08-05

CALVIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — An explosion and fire at an oil-pumping station in southwestern Michigan killed a 71-year-old man and rattled homes for miles around, authorities said.

The blast at a pumping station owned by Port Huron-based Trak Oil company killed Charles Lawrence of Lakefort, Michigan, and left another man with minor injuries, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said.

The two men were working on a tank when it exploded and caused a fire about 3:50 p.m. Monday.

Several neighbors said the explosion was so loud it shook their homes and was felt for miles around. The station is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Edwardsburg in Calvin Township near the Indiana border, police said.

Nearby resident Ronald Bowers said he heard the explosion and stepped outside to see a large cloud of smoke and debris “all over the place.”

“We felt the explosion from it quite a bit. I mean it rattled our house quite well,” he told WSBT-TV. “It was a hefty little explosion.”

The Michigan State Police Fire Marshal and the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are investigating.