Mysterious explosion puzzles Silver City residents

Sheree Rose said the mysterious noise that sent her running outside of her Silver City home at exactly midnight Saturday sounded like a propane tank exploding on her front porch.

Other Silver City residents said it sounded like dynamite, perhaps from an old mine, or maybe even a meteorite.

"We went outside after the blast, and there was no smoke," Rose said Sunday. "It was deathly quiet. You could see people coming out on their porches. It even knocked people out of their beds, those who were up close to the explosion."

Rose was one of many callers who flooded Lyon County dispatch. But the sound that seemed to emanate from the hill where a water tank is located has stumped even fire department officials and sheriff's deputies.

"We had the sheriff, Hazmat and the fire department up here, and they couldn't find out what it was," she said. "It was kind of scary. I thought, 'Are we in Iraq?'"

Mark Darragh, Central Lyon County Fire District battalion chief, said fire officials responded to Silver City on report of a large explosion, but "after an exhaustive search, nothing was located. No damage. No one injured.

"There was definitely an explosion up there, but there was nothing for us to do because we couldn't find it."

Darragh said there was a report of damage done to a water tank, but it was handled by the sheriff. Results from this report could not be obtained by press time.

According to the Storey County Fire Department, which also responded to the explosion to assist Lyon, nothing was found, and all units were cleared.

Beau Guthrie, a semi-retired Silver City resident, said the explosion roused him from bed.

"I heard the sound some explosives make before they go off - kind of a hissing sound," he said. "And then within milliseconds, I heard this incredibly loud explosion."

On Sunday, Guthrie and some friends went to where they believed the blast occurred, but they couldn't find anything.

"One neighbor is thinking it was a meteorite," Guthrie said. "It would be interesting to know. There is so much speculation that it could've been dynamite that went off. There is active mining going on in this area. They blast up there often, but their charges go in the ground, and that's a muffled kind of explosion. This explosion was much different. It was indescribable."

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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