Three people were hurt in an explosion at a South Dakota petroleum distributor last night. The explosion happened in the truck maintenance shop of Harms Oil west of Aberdeen; co-owner Jason Harms confirmed that all three injured people were taken to a local hospital. Harms said he did not know what caused the explosion at the time of reporting, which was just before 7 PM. Traffic on Highway 12 was blocked shortly after the explosion.
The explosion happened around 2:08 PM CST, but it remained “a very active scene” hours later, according to Director of Emergency Management Scott Meints. Both eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 12 remained closed for an hour, with eastbound lanes reopening around 3:15 PM. Heavy smoke was visible from the highway.
The Aberdeen Rural Fire Department is leading the investigation alongside the Brown County Sheriff’s Department. They’ve also called in the state fire marshal for assistance.
About Harms Oil
Harms Oil has been a family-owned petroleum distributor since 1976. The company started with three trucks and three employees, eventually growing into a fleet of over 100 transport trucks and hundreds of customers. According to the company’s website, they attribute their growth to the withdrawal of several major oil companies in the 1980s, leaving a void in the market they quickly grew into. Harms Oil services the upper Midwest with Dakota Oil, its sister company.
Our hearts go out to the three people who were injured, as well as their families. We hope they get everything they need to heal and recover from this traumatic event.