An oil platform worker was tragically killed this morning in Brazoria County when a pulley system lifting heavy equipment to the top of the platform failed, crushing the man underneath. The platform was located near Highway 35 and County Road 129 south of Pearland. It is not yet clear exactly how the system failed, but an investigation is being conducted.
Julio Barrera was a derrickman working in Webb County when he was killed on September 2, 2009. According to his wife, Claudia Hernandez, she recalls him telling her over the phone that the tower he was working on was not stable, but he would lose his job if he did not climb the tower. The very next day, Barrera climbed 25 feet up the derrick owned by Coastal Drilling Land Company to fix a locking pin in the metal frame. While he was on the tower, the structure began swaying, tipped over, and fatally crushed him. Barrera and his wife had two sons, and she was pregnant with their third child when he died. Even though she reached a confidential settlement with the companies responsible, she said they would not be able to give her what her kids lost.