Cause of dairy farm fire that killed 18,000 cows confirmed
DIMMITT, Texas (AP) – A Fire and explosion at a dairy farm in the Texas Panhandle According to state investigators, it was an accident that injured one person and killed an estimated 18,000 cattle. The accident began with an engine fire in a manure vacuum truck cleaning part of the huge barn.
A State Fire Marshal report on the April 10 fire at Southfork Dairy Farm about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Amarillo did not determine what caused the engine fire, but stated that “there was no intentional act.” , which would have led to an outage”. The April 24 report said the investigation was closed.
A worker who drove the truck through part of the 2-million-square-foot barn told investigators he noticed what he initially thought was steam coming from the engine compartment. Realizing there was a fire, he tried to drive out of the barn but couldn’t.
The driver said he tried to put out the fire with two fire extinguishers but failed. Several other employees told investigators they rushed to help, but the fire quickly spread.
The report noted that the dairy farm had a second manure truck on the property outside the barn. A dairy manager told investigators that a fire had previously occurred there as well. The report found burn marks near the engine compartment, which they said were the result of the truck fire in the barn.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, based on the number of cattle killed, the incident was the deadliest barn fire involving cattle on record since the organization began tracking barn fires in 2013.