Let me start this story by explaining where I live. I live in East Tennessee in a small town of about 3500. I live in the "burbs" outside of town on a dead end street. It's about two miles long and about 50 families live on the entire road.
For the past couple years with oil prices going crazy there has been a huge increase in drilling for oil all around this area. Easily within 1-mile radius of the house there are probably 40 oil wells. Just off the road I live on within 100-200 feet of the road are 5 wells.
Now here’s the story. Just up the road about 200 yards they have been putting in another well. It usually takes about 2 - 3 weeks to get one in. They hit what they called a large pressure pocket Tuesday around 1 pm and it began blowing gas and oil. The only way to describe the sound is that it sounded like a jet engine. They worked through out the day and night trying to get it capped and were having trouble. The well is only about 100 - 150 feet off the road. The blowing oil saturated a large area all around the well even running into the road. The smell of gas was strong all night. Tanker trucks came in and out all night long caring out the excess oil they were pumping from an over flow pit.
I was getting ready to go to work and had stepped out onto my porch to see if I needed a jacket and if it was raining. There is a small strip of trees between my house and the drilling site. I was looking in that direction when somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45am I thought the gates of hell had been opened. The entire place exploded! I felt a heat wave and the house shook. I have never been so terrified in my entire life. I don’t know how, but thank God no one was killed. A lot of property damage however. I think about 2 to 3 acres went up in about 15 seconds.
Here are a few pics of the day it happened. I grabbed the camera and snapped a few pics. They are a little blurry I wasn't really concerned with quality at that moment. The first one is about 15 min after it happened. The trees are about 45 - 50 feet tall and close to the center is a small rectangular area that's a transformer on a power pole. A crew from Texas in here now working to put it out. I've included some shots of them.