Right-wing commentator Ian Miles Cheong appeared to insinuate that something nefarious had taken place after a dairy factory in Texas exploded on Monday.
Authorities have yet to reveal the cause of the explosion, which took place at South Fork Dairy in the city of Dimmitt, but are expected to release their findings on Tuesday. Yet despite no evidence pointing to foul play, conspiracy theories have begun to spread.
“How does a dairy farm explode?” Cheong questioned.
The suggestion that such an occurrence is suspicious is not new. Over the past several months, conspiracy theorists have pointed to fires and other disasters at food processing plants as proof of a sinister effort by the “elite” to take control of the country’s food supply.
Although a handful of those who responded to Cheong’s tweet agreed, the vast majority were quick to point out the countless hazards at the facility that could have caused the explosion.
Others pointed out issues related to cow dung and fertilizer as well as methane and dust produced by cow feed.
Another seemed to point to a similar explosion that took place in California in 2018 at a factory producing powdered milk.
“Probably a milk-evaporation tower,” the user responded. “Last one remembered did this was in California.”
Eventually, Cheong responded to the flood of comments by conceding that explosions at dairy farms are not inherently an odd occurrence.
“I forgot that was combustible,” Cheong said after being reminded of the flammable nature of powdered milk.
Even after changing his tune, Cheong’s tweet still remains online. Several users took the opportunity to mock Cheong for making the initial assumption.
With over 25,000 food processing facilities in the US, such disasters are bound to happen. In 2019, for example, more two dozen fires took place at food processing plants. Only in recent months have conspiracy theorists attempted to link those fires to a nefarious plot.