Friday, November 29, 2013

Midnight Explosion in Missouri

It exploded like a bomb, shook like an earthquake, sounded like a tornado, looked like a wildfire, felt like the end of the world.
Still from Jason Knox Video
I was having trouble sleeping so I was lying in bed reading a book. I heard an explosion and my windows rattled. If it had stopped there, I would have been fine. Instead, the house shook and shook.

I jumped up out of bed and ran through the house while I tried to figure out what was going on. The way the house was shaking, I thought maybe it was an earthquake. A loud roar sounded more like a tornado, but I had come home at 9:00 p.m. and knew the sky was clear. I had stopped for a moment on the walkway to breathe in the fresh night and look at the stars.

What could it be? The noise sounded like the entire fleet of Stealth bombers from Whitman circling my house. Had it been a bomb? Had a plane crashed? My heart pounded as I tried to figure out what was going on. The house continued to shake and the rumble was not fading.

I called my son and asked him if he knew what was happening. While I was on the phone with him, I looked out my French doors and the entire sky was lit on the west side of my house. Could a meteor have hit close by? It felt like the end of the world.

"Why don't you just come over here?" Eric asked. He could see the fireball, but it was farther away.

I ran outside, carrying my phone and I could see flames leaping toward the sky. The sound was even louder. My brother-in-law was in the yard, and like me, he had no idea what we were seeing.

"I'm getting out of here," I said to my brother-in-law. I didn't know what it was, just that it was close, and a roaring, rumbling fire was consuming the night. I jumped in my car and headed away from the explosion. I met car after car rushing toward it. I didn't understand their thinking since no one knew what it was and whether it would explode again. I just knew that distance seemed safer to me.

Eric called back and told me it was a pipeline explosion. Of all the scenarios that had raced through my head, I never once thought of a pipeline explosion. I drove on since I didn't feel confident that it was going to stop with one big blast.

I watched from a distance and for the first time thought to snap a picture on my cell phone. The people rushing toward the explosion, or those with good cameras, captured the flames towering toward the heavens. My lone picture is not that impressive.

Thankfully, no one was hurt since the explosion was in a field. The explosion was felt thirty or more miles away. It was about seven miles from where I live.

By three o'clock the sky darkened again, and I headed back home. Soon, the night settled back into a peaceful November evening, and my heart rate returned to normal.

The view from my French doors today is still the calm wooded area it was yesterday. For that, I am most thankful.

copyright (c) November 2013 by L.S. Fisher

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