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Wisconsin Proppants Worker Drowns After Being Pinned Under Pump

Wisconsin Proppants Drowning Lawyer | Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyer

An industrial accident at the Wisconsin Proppants Hixton Mine and Plant in Lincoln County, Wisconsin, claimed the life of a worker earlier this week.

Worker Was Pinned Beneath Pump in 11-12 Feet of Water

First responders were called to the Wisconsin Proppants property, located at 15356 Garfield Road in the Town of Curran, shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22nd. According to media reports, the worker was performing maintenance on a large pump in a pond located on the property. The pump apparently rolled and pinned the worker in approximately 11-12 feet of water.

Personnel from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor Fire and First Responders, Hixton First Responders, Black River Falls Fire and EMS, and the Fort McCoy Fire and Dive Team responded to the incident. Rescue crews used heavy machinery to remove the pump and pull the man from the pond. Life-saving measures were attempted, but sadly, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim was later identified as a 44-year-old man from Fairchild, Wisconsin. It’s not yet clear if he was employed by Wisconsin Proppants or a third-party contractor.

About Wisconsin Proppants

According to its website, Wisconsin Proppant LLC is a leading provider of premium-quality frac sand used by the oil and gas industry to improve well productivity. WP Operations operates the 670-acre Hixton mine.

Fracking for oil and natural gas requires a steady supply of special silica sand. Silica is plentiful in western Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Proppants Hixton facility is one of more than 120 sites — including mines, processing plants, and rail load-outs –in the state that supply frac sand to oilfields around the country.

However, before silica can be used for fracking, the rocks must first be pulverized and washed to remove any impurities. The resulting waste materials are then collected in large pools of sludge that can contain high concentrations of toxic metals and chemicals known as polyacrylamides used in the washing process.

In August 2019, a faulty pump at the Wisconsin Proppants Hixton Mine allowed 400,000 gallons of sludge to leak into a tributary of the Trempealeau River over a single weekend. According to officials, the waste accumulated in the channel, causing it to flow over the sides and downhill into an on-site wetland and Curran Coulee Creek, a class III trout stream. Eventually, the sludge made its way into the river.

What to Do After an Oilfield Accident or Explosion

If you or a loved one were injured while working at an oilfield, frac sand mine, drilling rig, refinery, or processing plant, you can be confident the company and its insurance adjuster are already working to avoid responsibility and deny you and your family full compensation for all of your injuries and loss. To protect your rights and your future, you must act quickly as well:

  • Seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you were seriously hurt.
  • If you were hurt and require follow-up treatment, demand to see doctors and other medical providers of YOUR CHOICE. It’s not necessary to limit yourself to doctors and facilities chosen – and paid – by the company or its insurer.
  • Write down everything you can about the incident, including the names and contact information of witnesses.
  • Don’t sign anything, make a recorded statement, or accept any money (other than your regular paycheck) before speaking with an oilfield accident lawyer who has successfully represented injured workers and their families.
  • Follow all medical advice and attend all doctor and therapy appointments related to your accident. Failing to do so will give the oilfield company and its insurer the excuse they need to downplay your injuries and pay you less than you deserve.

Finally, speak with an experienced oilfield accident lawyer– preferably one with a track record of winning the Largest Oilfield Accident Verdicts and Settlements in History – to protect your rights and learn more about your legal options.

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If you or someone you love were hurt while working in the oil and gas industry, our attorneys are ready to help. Please call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to fill out our confidential contact form.

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