Texas oil well explosion injures 9, kills 2

A recent oil well explosion in West Texas killed two workers and injured nine others. According to the Loving County sheriff, two bodies were found at the scene of the explosion, roughly 20 feet away from the area that was being worked on. The sheriff also identified the deceased as a 41-year-old man from El Paso and a 46-year-old man from New Mexico.

There were approximately 12 independent contractors at the scene for RKI Exploration & Production, a company based in Oklahoma City.

The Loving County sheriff was unsure of what caused the accident, but guessed that a valve was not closed. As a result, natural gas or another type of fume was able to build up, which led to the wellhead blowing out. The explosion was so forceful that it was felt many miles away. He added, "I'm kind of dumbfounded myself. There was no active drilling on location. Just a truck and one of these equipment things to take off the control head."

The person who initially called 911 shed some light on what happened, noting that a "separator that divides oil from gas had blown up." Despite this information, authorities were unable to locate a separator at the accident scene.

This type of workplace accident often leads to a loss of a loved one for many family members. In this case, there is not much information available as to what happened, including the exact cause. It is known, however, that two men died and nine others were injured as a result of the explosion.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Oil well explosion kills two workers, injures nine in West Texas" Paresh Dave, Apr. 30, 2014

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