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Explosion destroys trailer in southwest Lyon County

Lyon County deputies and Olpe and Madison firefighters are cleaning up the scene after a semi trailer exploded in southwest parts of the county Monday morning.

Deputies, firefighters and Westar Energy crews were dispatched to 538 Road 20 shortly after 10 am, finding a trailer destroyed. The trailer was a semi-truck trailer that had been made into an office/storage for oil drilling equipment.

The explosion occurred just after 10am, when 46-year old Travis Ratcliff of Hamilton was filling a propane tank attached to the trailer. Lyon County Deputy Richard Johnson says the connection between the tank and brass fitting caused a spark, igniting the propane and causing the explosion.

Ratcliff was taken by personal vehicle to Newman Regional Health, to be treated for injuries. His condition is unknown, as Newman does not release patient conditions to the media.

The trailer was owned by David Farthing of Olpe. Original reports had the trailer as a possible dog kennel, and Johnson says that came from an oil industry term for certain equipment.

Farthing estimates the loss at between $45,000 and $50,000.

11 am: Investigation underway into trailer explosion

Lyon County deputies are investigating after a semi trailer exploded in southwest parts of the county Monday morning.

Deputies, Olpe first responders and Westar Energy crews were dispatched to the 500 block of Road 20 shortly after 10 am, finding the trailer destroyed. Initially, the trailer was reported as abandoned and being used as a dog kennel. Authorities now say it was being used as an office.

It's unclear what may have led to the explosion. The original reports had a propane tank under the trailer that exploded as it was being filled. There is also no official word on any injuries at this time.

KVOE News Director Chuck Samples contributed to this report.

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