Clarification: The original story stated the evacuation order was lifted and it has been narrowed.
MEDFORD, Okla. (KFOR) – An explosion at the OneOk gas plant in Medford forced many residents to leave their homes.
Hundreds of Medford residents were evacuated from their homes Saturday afternoon and many of them were placed in hotels in Enid, all accommodated by OneOk.
“I believe they’ve blocked them (hotel rooms) out through Wednesday evening at this point,” said James Shepherd, Medford Police Chief.
One family tells News 4, OneOk is helping assist in many ways.
“We’re staying tonight and we stayed last night in Blackwell. But OneOk actually told us that they would reimburse us for Blackwell, too. So, if you call them and they may be able to help you as well,” said Trisha Daniel, Medford resident evacuated.
To clarify the potential assistance to those displaced by the evacuation order, OneOk public information officer tells News 4, “I believe the City of Medford is requesting people displaced by the evacuation to call them and be put on a list. ONEOK currently is working and will continue to work directly with the community and numerous local agencies to provide various forms of assistance in the coming days to help those displaced by the evacuation.”
The evacuation zone has been narrowed.
We continue to prioritize the safety of our employees and the community as we focus on site response and damage assessment at the facility. The evacuation order issued Saturday has been narrowed to a 1-mile radius as of 6 p.m. CT yesterday. We also continue to cooperate fully with emergency responders and government authorities as we evaluate damage at the facility.Brad Borror, OneOK
U.S. Highway 81 will remain closed at Pond Creek and at the intersection of State Highway 11 & U.S. Highway 81.
A family staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Enid tells us when the explosion happened, they grabbed what they could and left their home within an hour of the evacuation.
“It’s a scary situation because we do have gas in our house, and so it’s a scary situation for sure… I just didn’t know what to think. I was definitely hysterical,” said Terrance Abraham, Medford resident evacuated.
His daughter, Carizma Combs, saw the explosion happen.
“Me and my friend, we were we were in her mom’s car. We were driving by to go to Enid and whenever we were heading there, it had blew up,” said Carizma Combs, Abraham’s daughter and Medford resident evacuated.
Carizma Combs said it scared her “a lot.”
Terrance Abraham tells us they haven’t been accommodated for food other than the included breakfast at the hotel, but they are not upset with OneOk.
“It can happen anywhere, you know, anything can happen in any moment. So, it’s just one of those things when you live close, you just got to kind of expect it… It just kind of got chaotic for a minute. But they did, you know, to their best to ability to keep everybody calm and just give everybody option with what they could and could do,” said Abraham.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but crews are still on scene.
“It’s down to Medford departments, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Miller EMS and OneOk’s Fire Barrage and their incident management team,” said Shepherd.
If you’re needing a place to stay tonight or if you’re a resident affected who needs further information on where to go tonight, you can contact Micah Barr with OneOK at 405-269-6991.