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Wyoming Oilfield Worker Died Shortly After Explosion Rocked Tisdale Creek Ranch Processing Site


Wyoming authorities believe an oilfield worker tragically killed in October died shortly after an explosion rocked the Tisdale Creek Ranch processing facility north of Gillette.

Fast-Moving Tisdale Creek Ranch Fire Burned for Nearly 12 Hours

A rancher reported the explosion shortly after 2:00 p.m. on October 31, 2018. By the time firefighters arrived, however, fast-moving flames had already engulfed the site and spread to two adjacent acres.

The fire was not extinguished until 1:00 a.m. on November 1st.

In the meantime, the blaze heavily damaged 10 large oil tanks, two passenger vehicles, two semi-trucks, three buildings, and two full 1,700-gallon propane tanks.

“This wasn’t like a little fire that started … this was an explosion and I think when (the investigation) gets done, that will kind of tell the tale,” Steve Rosier, chief deputy coroner for Campbell County, said during a media briefing late last month.

Fire’s Intensity, Threat of Further Explosions Hindered Recovery Efforts

Three workers were on site at the time, including two roustabouts employed by Tisdale Creek Ranch and a 36-year-old contractor with JCG LLC. According to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, the men were emptying a pit and preparing water for an injection well.

Apparently, the contractor had walked away from the other workers and entered the knockout/heater treater building just prior to the blast.

Crews did not recover the contractor’s remains for several hours due to the intense fire and threat of further explosions. Although firefighters eventually cleared a path to his body, Rosier noted that flames continued to burn just two feet away.

The other workers escaped the explosion without injury.

Wyoming OSHA Investigating Tisdale Creek Ranch Explosion

Based in Gillette, Tisdale Creek Ranch, Inc. provides water hauling and waste water disposal services to the oil and gas industry.

It’s still not clear what caused the October explosion.

Wyoming’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the disaster, but a final report won’t be released for at least six months.

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