By David Allen FosterPublished June 05, 2018 05:16:00A powerful blast sent a huge fireball and black smoke into the air Thursday night, burying parts of the power plant and causing an emergency shutdown of the entire region.
About 2,000 employees of the company that owns the power plants in Michigan and Illinois had been ordered to stay at home, according to the governor of Michigan.
The governor said he could not be more certain that the power generators were destroyed and that they were completely out of commission.
The explosion was caused by a single device that hit a fuel tank, according the Associated Press, which said a second explosion was detected at a storage facility where fuel was stored.
The governor, Republican Rick Snyder, declared a state of emergency in the two states.
He called the blast a “tragedy.”
In Michigan, the emergency is only in effect until the fuel storage facility is inspected, the AP said.
It was unclear if the fuel tanks were damaged.
Officials in Illinois did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The state has taken the extraordinary step of declaring a state emergency in response to the catastrophic damage that occurred at the Lubbock Power Plant in the United States and surrounding area,” Snyder said in a statement.
“The safety and security of our citizens and employees are our top priorities and we are working with the FBI and our state and local partners to ensure that the safety and safety of the public and our residents is assured.”
The Lubbocks plant is the only U.S. power plant to be located in the area.
It is owned by the Illinois Department of Energy and Power.
The blast caused an estimated $100 million in damage, the Associated Post reported.
Power plants typically take about 12 hours to be completely shut down, according a spokesperson for the company.
The Lubbels plant is one of the largest coal plants in the U.K., producing 1.6 million tons of coal per year, according its website.