Mississippi Oilfield Explosion Leaves 6 Workers Severely Burned

Mississippi Oilfield Explosion Lawyer | 6 Contractors Burned Flora, Mississippi Tank Explosion

Six contractors suffered severe burns last Friday morning when a storage tank exploded during a maintenance operation at an oil well disposal site in Mississippi.

Explosion Erupted as Storage Tanks Were Being Replaced

The July 29 explosion erupted around 7:50 a.m. at a site along Virlilia Road in Flora, Madison County, Mississippi.

“There were four storage tank facilities to hold products from oil wells,” Minor Norman, Madison County Fire Coordinator, told WLBL-TV. “They (the workers) were in the process of changing out two tanks with new fiberglass tanks. They were getting ready to go into service when the older tank exploded.”

The six workers burned in the incident were caught up in the resulting fire.

2 W. B. Red Hancock Employees Suffered Burns to at Least 50% of Their Body

Three were taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, including two who were airlifted with burns to at least 50% of their body. All three were later transferred to the burn unit at Merit Health Central.

The remaining three workers were taken directly to Merit Health via ambulance.

None of the injured workers have been identified. However, officials in Mississippi confirmed they were employed by W.S. Red Hancock, an oilfield construction and welding company headquartered in Bentonia, Mississippi.

Mississippi Storage Tank Explosion Remains Under Investigation

So far, it’s not clear what caused Friday’s tragic explosion.

According to Mississippi officials, the new fiberglass tanks were empty, and the crew had reportedly completed all welding operations by Thursday. The older tank apparently contained a small amount of petroleum product and generated a “huge fireball” when it exploded.

When fire crews arrived on the scene, one of the older tanks was missing its top, and another was blown off its foundation entirely. The latter was eventually found in the woods behind the well site.

Inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Health & Safety Administration arrived at the site on Friday. Personnel from the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board and the state fire marshal’s office are also involved in the investigation.

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