Thomas chemical explosion could cost small town a lot of money

Thomas, Oklahoma chemical explosion could cost small town a lot of money

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The fire is still visible in the distance. The fire is still visible in the distance.

An explosion at a chemical plant near the small town of Thomas rocked the town, literally, Wednesday night. Thursday morning, the residents were rocked figuratively.

"They have never had any problems at all. They have never had any type of accidents," said Thomas resident, Christina Inman.

Watch the explosion

"They've always been really safe. They've been in business for a while," added Brooke Self, who has lived in Thomas all her life. Brooke said the chemical company is a huge part of their small town.

"They're really involved with the school and everybody around here. They're good Christian people. They're part of the community. They're part of us."

Many folks call Danlin Industries the heartbeat of Thomas. They tell us the company employs 75 of the 1200 people in the town. They said basically its the backbone of the economic community

"If they moved away it would devastate our community," said Jennifer Billy is the economic development coordinator in Thomas.

Billy said the company doesn't just effect the people it employs.

"If Danlin wasn't here we would lose 75 people supporting our community with their taxes, with their payroll with grocery shopping."

She said if Danlin chooses not to rebuild in Thomas the community will face many challenges

"It would effect our school system. I mean losing students in our school system if they had to move. it would effect other businesses that their spouses might work at."

But not everybody is a fan of the chemical giant

"I'm going to try to stop them from ever putting it back over there again. I don't want no part of it," said a local resident who asked to remain anonymous.

Some don't like the plant so close to houses

"It's dangerous. It's dangerous all them chemicals."

But everybody in Thomas agrees on one thing...their glad everybody survived the blast.
 
No word on when the chemical plant will be up and running but officials say Danlin plans to rebuild on the same area.

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