An explosion yesterday morning at a Wyoming oil production site sparked a fire and killed three workers. According to the Associated Press, the cause of the blast is not yet known.
The explosion occurred around 10:00 a.m. at an oil storage facility operated by Samson Resources Co., about 35 miles from Glenrock, Wyoming, a remote part of the state. Before it was brought under control, the explosion sparked a 10-acre fire.
The identities of the three men killed in the explosion have not been released. All three worked for a Tulsa, Oklahoma, contractor that had been hired by Samson to bring an oil well it acquired recently back into production. The well, which is located on Hornbuckle Ranch, about 50 miles northeast of Casper, was not involved in the explosion or fire.
At the time of the blast, the men were laying a fuel line intended to supply a heater treatment facility that separates oil from water as the two are pumped out of the ground.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who died in this accident,” Samson Senior Vice President of Operations Phil Schmucker said. “Samson will work closely with federal, state, and local officials to assist with the investigation of this tragic accident, and will work with the combined team to provide updates on the situation as the investigation continues.”
According to TheRepublic.com, J.D. Danni, manager of the Wyoming Occupational Safety & Health Administration program, said Tuesday that Samson hasn’t received any citations from the state in recent years. Two investigators from the agency are investigating the incident, and will release a report in about 18 months.
According to the Associated Press, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported last week that the number of occupational fatalities in the state rose to 34 last year â€” an increase of nearly 79 percent from the prior year. Of those deaths, 10 were in the natural resources and mining sector.