Just after 10 p.m. Tuesday night, reports began to come into the KLTV 7 newsroom from Rusk, Harrison and Panola Counties of a monstrous blast that shook the ground and shot flames into the night sky.
"It was a big boom," says one Tatum resident.
"It felt as if it was a small scale earthquake," said another.
"An explosion and a big bright light," said another.
From Hallsville to Longview to Tatum, East Texans say they heard a huge explosion, then the ground began to shake.
"I thought it was thunder but it did not sound like thunder. It was a big loud boom, like it was an explosion," says Tatum resident Arely Ramos.
KLTV 7 reached out to Eastman Chemical in Longview about the noise.
"At approximately 11 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11, a flare line that serves Eastman's hydrocarbon cracking plant number 3 experienced a failure," said Eastman Chemical's Kristin Parker in a statement to KLTV. "The equipment failure caused a loud noise throughout the community. No one was injured as a result of this incident and the plant is operating normally."
Those who saw it, won't soon forget it.
"Before I felt anything, I saw this aura, this blue and purple aura in the sky and then my car shook as I was driving. It looked 200-250 feet in the air," says Jeremy Healy.