Castro Co. Dairy Farm explosion leaves one in critical condition, thousands of cattle dead

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 8:03 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - One woman has been hospitalized with critical injuries after an explosion and fire demolished Southfork Dairy Farm just southeast of Dimmitt on Monday night. The blaze also claimed the lives of thousands of cattle.

Sal Rivera, Castro County Sheriff says, “We received eight 911 calls of an explosion and a fire at Southfork Dairy Farm.”

Those calls came in at around 7:21 p.m. on Monday night. Volunteer firefighters from Dimmitt, Hart and Nazareth responded to battle the blaze.

“Initial calls were that there were several people trapped inside; it turned out to just be the one,” Rivera stated.

The trapped individual was a woman who worked at the farm. She was flown to UMC in Lubbock to receive treatment for her injuries. The damage to the facility is quite extensive. We have confirmed out that out of the 19,000 cattle on the farm, 18,000 were destroyed in the fire. Sheriff Rivera stated equipment failure may have started the fire.

“It was probably what they call a ‘honey badger,’ like a vacuum that sucks manure and water out. It is possible that it overheated and the methane and things like that might have ignited and spread out with an explosion and a fire,” he said.

The remaining livestock is moving to a sister facility, just north of Southfork Dairy Farm.

Castro County deputies are asking for the public to avoid the area as they work to clear injured and dead livestock.

The Texas State Fire Marshall’s Office is leading the investigation into what caused this fire and explosion.

KCBD will continue gather updates as more information becomes available.