1 dead in explosion at Knoxville trucking plant

An explosion at a trucking plant in Knoxville has left one person dead Friday morning, according to a news release from the Johnson County sheriff’s office.

Daniel Rice, 33, of Clarksville, was killed when a tank he was working on exploded at the plant at 7:30 a.m. Rice and other workers were “using a propane torch to loosen ball valves on the back of the tanker trucks,” authorities said.

The explosion occurred at 601 Ash St., the address of Quick Transports Inc., according to a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

Calls to the business late Friday morning were not answered.

The explosion could be felt up to 1 1/2 miles away from the scene, the release stated.

Rice was hit by “a metal hatch plate that was blown off the back of one of the tanks,” officials said. No other workers injured in the blast.

The tanker that exploded was designed to haul wastewater from drilling sites. Authorities believe the explosion happened as a result of the buildup of methane gas inside the tank.