Oxford residents were left bewildered and alarmed as a massive explosion lit up the night sky, accompanied by a towering fireball.
The incident unfolded during a thunderstorm, leading to speculation that a lightning strike may have triggered the dramatic event.
As the city’s night sky was momentarily transformed into a blazing spectacle, eyewitnesses shared their accounts on social media.
Kit Yates, a local resident, captured a video of the mysterious event and pondered, “Saw this 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.”
Kidlington resident Mahmet Ciftci described his experience, saying, “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.”
Thunderstorm and meteorological factors
The timing of the explosion coincided with a Met Office yellow weather warning for thunderstorms and heavy rain over Oxfordshire.
Stuart Reid suggested a lightning strike near Oxford (A34) as the potential cause, remarking that it struck something that then burst into flames.
Impact on surrounding areas
Residents in nearby regions were also affected by the powerful thunderstorm.
Ana Cavey, who resides in Somerton, approximately 15 miles north of Oxford, recounted her terrifying experience, saying, “We’ve had the most unbelievable thunder and lightning storm ever… it came out of nowhere, and the noise was incredible.”
The power outage resulting from the storm left many in the dark, with Joshua Bull noting, “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.”
While investigations into the incident are ongoing, Oxford residents continue to grapple with the aftermath of the unanticipated explosion and fireball that briefly transformed their night sky.
Speculation abounds as to the cause, with a lightning strike during a thunderstorm emerging as a leading theory.