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Wyoming Explosion of Gas Tanks Leaves 5 Injured

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An explosion that occurred on Friday has left five gas field workers injured. The devastating incident took place at an Encana drilling site, located in the Pinedale, Wyoming. Authorities reported that the accident was caused by a welding procedure, which in turn, set off the explosion.

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Department released a statement offering updated details on the condition of the injured workers. It was reported that one worker suffered substantial injuries, and is now in critical condition, and two others were in serious condition. Another worker was reported as ‘stable,’ and the fifth was treated, and has been released from a local Pindale health clinic. According to the Star Tribune of Wyoming, Encana spokesman, Doug Hock, offered a brief statement in regards to the explosion, stating that the explosion took place near a battery of six condensate tanks.

The gas field works were contract employees outsourced to Encana. Three were employed with ASAP Construction of Boulder, which is located within Sublette County. The other two workers were independent contractors. “This appears to be related to the welding they were doing,” Hock stated in agreement with the sheriff’s department. “That was the ignition source.”

However, the external observations for the cause are only preliminary. The definitive cause of the explosion remains unknown, as the accident is still under investigation. The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be handling the investigation.

The sheriff’s department reported that according to when the call was placed, the explosion took place at approximately 10:15 a.m. MST. By 1:00 p.m., it was reported that the fire had been diffused.

Bridget Ford of Encana also weighed in with her sentiments of those involved in the explosion. “This has been a difficult and sad day, and our friends and co-workers that were hurt are in our thoughts and prayers,” Ford said.
Image via Twitter | Encana Corporation

Wyoming Explosion of Gas Tanks Leaves 5 Injured
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  • Victoria

    Prior to working in any Class1 Div1 or Class1 Div2 environment one MUST evaluate the atmosphere for Lower Explosive Levels (LEL). This MUST be less than 10% of the lower explosive level prior to performing any Hot Work. This is in fact accomplished through gas monitoring with a calibrated air monitoring device such as an ITX Four Gas Monitor. Once the initial gas testing is performed continuous monitoring must be done and documented. Knowing changing conditions in the work environment is essential. If the contractor did not have the equipment or the training to conduct work safety then we were taking a short cut so was the issuing authority! It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a contractor or owner. There are Codes of Federal Regulation governing this type of work and when followed this task can be done safety!
    This is really about Safety Culture and Values. It is time we all stand up for safety in our work site!
    Alaska Oil & Gas Safety Specialist
    Victoria

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