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Officials investigating boom heard at Isom gas station

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ISOM, Ky. (WYMT) - One man says it is the loudest thing he has ever heard. Friday morning officials in Letcher County responded to calls of a possible explosion. But, as it turned out, it may not have been an explosion after all.

Kentucky State Police say they received a call of a possible explosion at the Isom Double Kwik just before 10 a.m. on Friday.

"I thought maybe a really bad car wreck, or a bomb," said Chris Lowe, who was working next door at the time.

But officials say it was neither of those.

"First initial call we got was an explosion. When we got here, it wasn't an explosion at all," said the Letcher County Emergency Management Director, Paul Miles.

Instead, Miles says contractors were about to inspect an underground storage tank from the inside, when the pressure in one of the tanks blew, shooting a vent cap off into the air.

Chris Lowe says he heard the pressure release and it was unlike anything he had ever experienced.

"It shook the ground. Like it shook the building. It sounded almost like a glass and boom kind of mix and we really didn't know what it was," Lowe said.

Investigators continue to look for the cause of the pressure release.

"There's a lot safety regulations that go into these tanks and stuff. And on this one, they appeared to have worked," said Miles.

Emergency officials say these precautions seemed to have played their part Friday, preventing injuries from the pressure release.

State Fire Marshals are leading the investigation. They were unavailable for comment.


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