2 Dead, 9 Injured in West Texas Oil Field Explosion

Two people are dead and another nine injured following an oil field explosion in West Texas near the New Mexico border.

Details of the Fatal Oil Field Accident

According to the Associated Press, a Loving County sheriff has confirmed that two workers were killed and nine workers were injured as a result as an explosion at an oil field site roughly 60 miles southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Emergency services were contacted between 8 and 8:30 am Wednesday in connection with an accident at a nearby oil rig. Updates on the accident were slow as radio communications and cell phones were unreliable in the rural area.

It is believed that the workers were changing a wellhead when the accident occurred, but Sheriff Billy Hopper was unable to confirm who operates the oil field. Reports from KWES TV in Odessa, however, indicate that the area was owned by RKI Exploration and Production.

Oil Field Accident Statistics

  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job between 2003 and 2010.
  • The fatality rate for the field is seven times greater than the average for all other U.S. industries.
  • Among the most common causes of injuries and death are:
    • Vehicle accidents
    • Struck-by/caught-in/caught-between
    • Explosions and fires
    • Falls
    • Confined spaces
    • Chemical exposure
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