Wyoming Explosion of Gas Tanks Leaves 5 Injured

    November 23, 2013

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.
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