A school bus packed with children collided with a van carrying oil and gas workers in the Eagle Ford Shale region early Thursday morning, killing three of the people in the van. Reports of the fatal Eagle Ford crash indicate that children in the school bus suffered only bumps and bruises in the collision.
Production of oil and gas is not the only thing on the rise in South Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), fatal traffic wrecks have increased by 40 percent since last year in the Eagle Ford Shale region, a 20,000 square-mile area that runs from the Mexican border across 20 counties in South Texas. One of the major reasons for this increase, TxDOT officials report, is because of the large number of cars and commercial trucks that now occupy many of the deteriorating roads without shoulders that connect this rural region. Traffic Operations Division Director for TxDOT, Carol Rawson, estimates that roads that once carried 200 vehicles per day now have 2,400 vehicles traveling on them, most of which are 80,000 pound 18-wheeler trucks.
As reported in the Houston Chronicle, Chevron Phillips is seeking additional workers due to a recent boom in the shale gas industry. In fact, an expansion estimated at more than $15 billion is underway at plants along the Texas Gulf Coast. Such expansions have prompted Greg Wagner, Vice President of Human Resources at Chevron Phillips, to go on record saying that Chevron Phillips is currently seeking "the best and the brightest"-whether in construction, or in more permanent jobs, such as plant operators, mechanics, and professional positions.
A 25-year-old oil and gas worker on the Eagle Ford Shale was fatally injured this week when he was struck by a falling pipe. James Dean "Jimmy" Burnett was employed by Victoria Maintenance Inc. and was working on a BHP Billiton Petroleum construction site in Karnes County when the Eagle Ford Shale fatal workplace accident occurred.
A recent report has found a 40% increase in fatality traffic accidents in the Eagle Ford shale region in 2012 as compared to 2011. This report was done based on an analysis of data released from the Texas Department of Transportation. The numbers revealed 248 deaths in 2012 versus 177 the year before.