Blacklidge Emulsions explosion heard miles away

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -  An explosion rocks East Gulfport Friday night. Blacklidge Emulsions, a company in Gulfport's Industrial Seaway Park, was the site of the explosion. The vibrations from the blast were felt from miles away.

Christy LeBlanc and her son Ashton were enjoying a quiet Friday night at home when they heard it.

"I had just come in, and I was downstairs. And I just heard a really loud boom," says LeBlanc.

Flames and plumes of smoke was the scene not far from the LeBlanc home at Blacklidge Emulsions off Lorraine Road.

"It appears that a 40,000 gallon tank that has asphalt in it exploded," says Gulfport Fire Department Chief Pat Sullivan.

Nineteen units responded to put out the flames from the tanker explosion, including an extra team from the Air Guard.

"It's very, very difficult because of the type of fire we were dealing with. We had a petroleum type of fire. We also feared that a couple of tanks had been exposed and could possibly be involved," says Chief Sullivan.

Fortunately, only equipment was involved in the fire, no workers. There were only three to five workers on the scene at the time of the explosion.

"Our first concern was the plant workers. When we arrived, they were all outside away from the fire, so they were safe," says Chief Sullivan.

"We are very thankful none of our employees were injured, and that's all that matters," says Brooke Shoultz, Vice President of Accounting and Legal.

Chief Sullivan said the fire was put out around 8:30 Friday night. The cause of that explosion is still under investigation.