It happened around 7:30a.m. when Daniel Rice, 33, was attempting to de-thaw a tank at Quick Transport of Arkansas in Knoxville, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.
Workers at the company were using a propane torch to loosen ball valves on the back of the tanker trucks. Rice was hit by a metal hatch plate that was blown off of the back of the tank, said the sheriff's office. Two other hatches on top of the tanker were also blown off by the force of the explosion. No other injuries were reported.
The tankers are designed to haul wastewater from drilling sites and it appears methane gas had built up in the tank which triggered the explosion.
Knoxville Fire Department as well as units from the Johnson County Office of Emergency Services, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office and Arkansas State Police responded to the scene.
The explosion was felt as far away as a mile and a half from the scene.