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55 Killed In Fatal Oil Explosion In China

Earlier this year, Forbes reported that oil and gas production in Texas accounted for 34.5 percent of overall oil production and 27 percent of natural gas extraction in the United States. These numbers likely have much to do with the booming Eagle Ford Shale play along with the oil and gas wells and rigs that dot the landscape across Texas and into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Lonestar State however is not the only producer. It is also not the only place where citizens are at risk of disastrous oil or gas explosions. Recently China made headlines after an oil pipeline blast killed at least 55 people and injured 160 others. The pipeline was operated by Sinopec, China’s largest oil refiner.

A criminal investigation into the explosion led to seven employees of Sinopec being detained. Two city officials that are part of the oversight organization were also detained in connection with the blast. A “very serious dereliction of duties” has been cited as the cause of the fatal explosion, meaning human error is to blame for the 55 lives lost in the oil tragedy. The area around the pipeline leak should have been evacuated and the pipeline should have been sealed much quicker.

The blast was fed by a ruptured pipeline that was allowed to leak oil for at least 15 minutes. Oil flowed into the streets and into the nearby sea, later igniting and creating the fatal oil-fed explosion.

Source: The Guardian, “Arrests over China oil explosion,” November 25, 2013

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