A safety check went all wrong this week, sending a man to a San Antonio hospital with serious injuries. Investigators initially believe that static electricity is to blame for an explosion that involved diesel and salt water storage tanks in Karnes City, part of the Eagle Ford Shale play.
The concussion of the explosion caused an oil field worker to fall from a ladder system, resulting in injury. Thankfully, first responders were on the scene quickly and were able to pull the injure worker to safety before the explosion leveled several of the storage tanks involved. The worker suffered serious burn injuries that covered 20-30 percent of his body.
Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva estimates that as many as 10 lives have been lost in the area due to the oil and gas boom on the Eagle Ford Shale. He also reminds others that it’s not just the oilfield workers who are at risk – the emergency personnel who respond to oil rig explosions or gas-fed fires put their lives on the line to save lives each time they are called out.
Common accidents associated with oil fields include:
- Vehicle crashes, including large trucks or semi-trucks transporting oil, gas or byproduct
- Falls from ladder systems, scaffolding or other heights on the rig
- Equipment failure, including rig blowouts and derrick collapses
- Explosions caused by leaks, static electricity, lightning strikes or cigarettes
Thousands of oil and gas field workers are injured each year across the United States. If you or a loved one are one of them, you have rights and those rights may extend beyond typical workers’ compensation. You should speak to an oil and gas accident attorney as soon as you are able to following an oilfield accident.
Source: Austin Your News Now, “Eagle Ford Shale explosion example of oil boom risk,” October 9, 2013