An oil well explosion shut down a portion of US-41 Alternate in Webster County for part of last night.
Webster County Emergency Management Director Jeremy Moore says lightning struck an oil storage battery around 10 p.m. causing the tanks to explode. The top tank landed in the roadway and two other tanks were on fire when firefighters arrived. The explosion also damaged some power lines at the site, causing an outage in the area. Responders had the blaze under control by about 1:30 this morning. Moore says heavy rain that accompanied the lightning helped to contain the incident. There is no estimate as to how long it will take to restore power to the area.