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Fatal Workplace Explosion Kills 1 Contract Welder

An oil storage tank belonging to Newfield Production exploded last week, killing one man and injuring another. The 400 gallon tank was undergoing routine maintenance when the fatal workplace explosion. A 28-year-old contract welder from Boren Construction was killed in the blast.

The site of the oil storage tank explosion is an active oil well outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The site was shut down after the fatal explosion so that investigators could determine the cause of the blast and so that Newfield Production could determine whether it was safe to resume oil production operations.

Two other workers received non-life-threatening injuries when the tank exploded. An employee of Newfield Production was taken to the hospital for treatment while the other person, a second contractor from Boren, was treated onsite.

Newfield Production, based out of Woodlands, Texas, is the largest oil producer in Utah with more than 200,000 acres of wells in operation or under development.

Local, state and federal officials are involved in the investigation to determine the cause of the oil field fire and blast.

Earlier this year, two adults were seriously injured in an oil field storage tank explosion in Van Zandt County in East Texas. Both suffered serious burns after the tank they were sitting on exploded beneath them. Investigators reported that the two had trespassed onto the property and were smoking on one of the storage tanks when the blast occurred. The tanks contained salt water that is used in the drilling process. Only one tank exploded but three others nearby were considered total losses in the blast.

Source: Reuters, "One killed, two injured in Utah oil field fire," May 8, 2013

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