Big Spring Residents React to Blast

By Michael Stafford
Newswest 9

Rattled nerves and shattered windows, A sure sign that something had gone terribly wrong at the Alon Refinery.
The most fearful ones, were perhaps, young school children who had never encountered such a loud explosion.

Tenth grader Marissa Zavala was going about her daily routine when all of a sudden a loud blast and dark billowing smoke, then the school building began to shake.

"The kids just started to panic, and then we realized the refinery had just blown up and many students just wanted their parents to come and pick them up," says student Marissa Zavala.

The school district first shut down Moss Elementary, the closest school to the refinery.  Then ultimately, officials decided to play if safe, and shut down all the schools.

It didn't take long for curious Big Spring residents to jump out of bed half dazed to see what was going on.

"I was laying in bed, and I heard a loud explosion.  I heard our windows break, and I ran to the window, and saw all the black smoke.  My wife went to pick up our children," says Big Spring resident Roland Lozano.

The Ponderosa Apartments off Birdwell had more than a dozen windows shatter.  Workers spent most of the day boarding them up.

"Yes, we've been assessing the damage and fixing all the windows.  We'll be out here most of the day boarding them up," says worker Danny Clark.

Some businesses didn't fare much better.  It'll cost thousands of dollars to make repairs at Airgas.

But the bottom line, Big Spring was lucky.  Residents told us they knew it could have been a whole lot worse.