Two workers suffered injuries on October 17 in an oil field explosion at the Ledwig Ranch between Millet and Dilley, Texas. By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, several oil tanks at the site were engulfed in flames.
Both workers were airlifted to the hospital. Fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening. But the accident underscores the dangers faced by oil workers on the Eagle Ford Shale field and other oil and gas producing sites. Oilfield workers are under the constant threat of serious and fatal injuries due to explosions in oil production and storage facilities. La Salle County Sheriff's Office spokesman Marc Robertson noted that a similar explosion at another site in Texas blew debris onto a farm-to-market road, endangering passersby. Such blasts can be very powerful. KSAT 12 News quotes Robertson as saying he "felt" the Dilley explosion from his office at the LaSalle County Sherriff's Office about 16 miles away.
Firefighters allowed the flames to subside before examining the site more closely. The LaSalle County Sherriff's Office attributed the explosion to a faulty oil tank battery. A full investigation of the explosion will be conducted by the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Workers who suffer injuries in oil and gas field explosions may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When an accident is the fault of an equipment supplier or another third-party, workers may be eligible for additional compensation through a third-party lawsuit.