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Karnes County Oil Rig Explodes, Injures Six

Photo of Benny Agosto

An oil rig exploded earlier this morning near Falls City, Texas, leaving at least three injured workers suffering from second and third degree burns. At least six rig workers were injured in the blast by the explosion itself or the expulsion of scalding hot water and steam from the rig.

The burn injuries from the oil rig accident are not anticipated to be fatal; the workers who suffered the most serious injuries were airlifted by helicopter to hospitals in San Antonio for evaluation and treatment. Two workers were reported to have sought treatment elsewhere and did not require an air evacuation.

The well was reportedly operated by Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas which is headquartered in Phoenix with an oil and gas office here in Houston.

Oil & Gas Safety: Burn Injuries

A burn injury can be extremely painful. It can penetrate not only the outer layers of the skin, but deeper into the body, affecting blood vessels, muscles and even bone. Serious burn injuries can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement, often creating deep psychological and emotional wounds, along with the physical burns.

Burns are commonly associated with fires, but they can also be the result of contact with hot surfaces, hot water (as in the Falls City explosion) or chemicals. Electrical burns are also a known danger.

Recovering from a burn injury can be a long, arduous process. Body parts severely injured by a burn accident are more susceptible to infection.

The cause of the oil rig explosion is not yet known. It could have been the result of poor maintenance, equipment failure, a defective component or improper installation of the rig equipment. Despite the known dangers of oil and gas fields, employers still have a duty to keep the premises safe for all workers. Failing to do so can result in serious injuries - possibly like the burn injuries experienced by the Falls City rig workers - as well as serious liability.

Source: News4 San Antonio, "Six Oil Rig Workers Injured In Explosion," September 24, 2013

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