A huge explosion lit up the skies over Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom on Monday night, and there’s some confusion over what exactly happened.
Thames Valley Police said officers are currently fighting a fire at a waste plant near Yarton, Oxford. “It is believed that lightning struck gas containers at the site during bad weather this evening, causing a large fire,” the department shared on Twitter.
Videos shared online appear to show an almost mushroom-cloud eruption that turned into a huge wall of flames somewhere near the A34 motorway. One person driving past the site of the explosion commented on the massiveness of the fire, with someone in the background saying the site was struck by lightning.
Massive Explosion In UK’s Oxford Caught On Camera pic.twitter.com/9LJWzGUo25
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 2, 2023
The explosion happened around 7:00 p.m. local time, according to the Oxford Mail. “Saw this strange pulsing sky out of our windows looking north west of Oxford. I’m guessing it’s a fire caused by the lightning storm that passed over,” one eyewitness told the outlet.
Another person noted that “lots of fire brigade and police cars minutes later going through [the] A40 [motorway].” It’s currently unclear whether the explosion and fire are related.
Lightning strike near Oxford (A34). Struck something that burst in to flames. pic.twitter.com/mrZ4qxtbBd
— Stuart Reid (@Brand_Stu_Dad) October 2, 2023
The blast was so strong the lights flickered in one local resident’s home and others temporarily lost power, according to posts on Twitter. Countless others reported a loud “bang” and glowing orange skies that seemed to last for at least two minutes.
Mobile networks were also apparently down for a short time, according to another user. (RELATED: ‘We Basically Nuked A Town’: Three More Chemicals Discovered At Train Derailment Site)
It’s hard to tell exactly what happened, but it looks like a true mushroom cloud. Thankfully, it’s probably just the glow of the fire reflecting off thick cloud-cover throughout the region. Initial reports suggested the explosion was a lightning strike hitting Severn Trent’s facility near Kidlington.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.