Two oil well workers died and nine others were injured after a high pressure explosion occurred at an oil wellhead in west Texas. The two bodies were found about 20 feet from a well head that was being replaced. The Loving County sheriff identified the dead as Amos Ortega of Artesia, New Mexico and Roberto Andrade of El Paso, Texas. The explosion site is about 12 miles from Oria, Texas and six miles south of New Mexico. Abraham Watkins is currently handling cases involving oil field explosions.
Their deaths bring the number of workers killed in Loving County’s oil fields to 7 since 2006. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, in 2012 the death toll peaked at 65,000, a 10 year high and nearly 60 percent more than 2011. The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas led the states with 216 deaths of overall fatalities over the same period. The oil and gas industry fatality rate is almost eight times higher than the average industry rate.
In Texas, 78 percent of fatal accidents were safety violations, meaning they could have been prevented with stronger oversight. Other sites of rising deaths are all located in states that have had drilling booms. Another man died in a North Dakota drilling operation this week from a toxic gas byproduct from oil drilling. The offshore industry faced new oversight after 11 workers died in the BP oil spill, but the onshore still faces very few standards.
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 65 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.