Permian Basin Oilfield Accident Leaves New Mexico Contractor Severely Burned
A Permian Basin oilfield worker is fighting for his life today after an accident at an abandoned well in Lea County, New Mexico, left him severely burned.
Cutting Torch Ignited Flash Fire at Abandoned Lea County Well
The March 16th incident occurred around 10:00 a.m., as the contractor was removing a wellhead from the plugged and abandoned oil well located near Heidel Road and Whitmore Road, southeast of Tatum.
According to the Lea County Sherriff’s Office, a cutting torch he was using came into contact with paraffin either inside or around the intermediate well casing. The residual gas located inside the well casing then ignited, triggering a flashover.
Contractor Suffered Burns to 90% of His Body
Native Air flew the male victim to a Lubbock, Texas, hospital where he is receiving treatment for burns to 90% of his body. His current condition is unknown.
So far, authorities have declined to identify the injured contractor or his employer.
The accident remains under investigation.
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