A bolt of lightning struck a set of oil tanks in Henderson, KY, Wednesday and it forced firefighters and local emergency management officials to shut down a road in the area for over an hour.

The tanks were struck during a thunderstorm that rolled through the area earlier this evening near the Zion community. The lightning strike caused small amounts of oil to leak out into the containment berm, officials reported. Due to the oil leak, hydrogen sulfide was present in the air that caused hazardous conditions.

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Zion Fire Department firefighters said when they arrived at the scene, they detected a strong sulfur odor. Firefighters were able to use their gas detector that indicated levels were climbing.

The road was shut down for precautionary measures per the Emergency Response guidelines, until air monitoring was complete. Traffic was redirected around Zion. Once the leak was stopped, air levels returned to a safe measure and the road was reopened before dark. 

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“The public may notice an increased smell of crude oil in this area, but after some time, it will return to normal and dissipate,” said Henderson County EMA Director Kenny Garrett. “Considering the fast response from Zion and Spottsville firefighters to contain this scene, we had no need for evacuations and no one was injured from this incident.”

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