Huge fireball lights up sky after explosion in Oxfordshire

A lightning strike has caused an explosion and a huge fireball in Oxfordshire.

The large fire erupted after lightning hit a gas tank at a processing facility near Yarnton during a storm on Monday evening.

In a statement, Severn Trent Green Power said the strike at its Cassington facility "caused an explosion in our biogas tanks".

"Thankfully no one has been hurt and we are working with the emergency services to make sure the site is safe so that we can assess the damage as soon as possible," it added.

Residents have been told to stay indoors and shut their windows. Police have also closed the A40 between Wolverton and Eynsham.

A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms and heavy rain was in place for Oxfordshire until 2am on Tuesday.

The blast was reported earlier this evening, with people sharing footage of the fire on social media.

A witness told the Oxford Mail they saw a "strange pulsing sky out of our windows looking northwest of Oxford".

"I'm guessing it's a fire caused by the lightning storm that passed over," the witness added.

One person wrote on social media: "Anybody else in Oxford just see that fireball?", adding there had been a "loud explosion".

Another person added: "So strange, sky was pulsating."

Stuart Reid wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: "Lightning strike near Oxford (A34). Struck something that burst in to flames."

Ana Cavey, who lives in Somerton, about 15 miles north of Oxford, told Sky News: "We've had the most unbelievable thunder and lightning storm ever... it came out of nowhere and the noise was incredible.

"A lightning strike hit right outside my house and it was deafening. It was terrifying. Awful.

"Our power has just come back on but we've been without power all evening until now."

Joshua Bull wrote on X: "Definitely some kind of explosion - sounds like it's out near Yarnton? Must have been huge, I'm in Marston and thought it was a car crashing outside my flat."

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Mahmet Ciftci also posted on X: "Just saw something here in Kidlington that looked like an explosion in the distance. We heard a rumble like thunder and saw flames in the distance. The horizon went orange for a while."

In March, a sonic boom was reported across central England - including Oxford.

It was initially treated as a mystery before Essex Police explained it had been caused by two RAF jets escorting a plane.