Canyon Oilfield Services Worker Tragically Killed When Welding Torch Triggers Explosion in El Reno, Oklahoma
An oilfield services worker died tragically early Sunday morning, after a welding torch triggered an explosion in El Reno, Oklahoma.
Canyon Oilfield Services Explosion Heard for Miles
The El Reno Fire Department responded to an explosion at Canyon Oilfield Services, located near SE 27th and Choctaw, roughly 25 miles west of Oklahoma City, around 7:00 a.m on July 14th.
Local media accounts suggest people living miles from the site heard and felt the blast.
“I heard a loud bang and it rattled my windows so, I was like is it a gun shot or fireworks?” one woman told News9.com.
El Reno Explosion Ignited by Welding Torch
According to authorities, the deceased was working on a tanker truck near the Canyon Oilfield Services office. Apparently, a welding torch ignited flammable vapers, setting off a flash explosion.
The man died at the scene. For now, officials are withholding his identity pending family notification.
The Oklahoma Fire Marshal’s Office has deployed a team to Canyon Oilfield Services. The onsite-portion of the investigation will likely take several days.
Oilfield Workers and Welding-Related Deaths
According to the National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health, 85 oilfield workers died as a result of fires or explosions between 2005 and 2015. Twenty-eight of the fatalities involved hot work or welding-related incidents.
Oilfield employees performing hot work on tanker trucks and other equipment are exposed to toxic and flammable hazards due to the presence of hydrocarbon residues. In fact, fatalities often result from the mistaken assumption that empty equipment doesn’t pose any risk.
It’s the responsibility of oilfield companies to:
- Review potential hazards with their workers;
- Establish safe practices and procedures for all hot work; and
- Implement and train workers on effective hazard control measures.
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