West Texas Oil Field Blast Kills Two and Injures Nine Others

by Terry Bryant

Picture 2A high-pressure explosion claimed the lives of two West Texas oil field workers and injured nine others in Loving County, Texas on the morning of Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

Loving County authorities identified the two dead as Robert Andrade Magdaleno of El Paso, Texas, and Amos Ortega of Artesia, New Mexico. Both workers were independent subcontractors for RKI Exploration & Production, who owns the well involved in the explosion. Other workers present at the scene are employees of Ameriflow Energy Services, which is a subsidiary of Crescent Services.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) and the Railroad Commission of Texas are investigating the causes of the explosion, which occurred about six miles from the New Mexico border. The sparse location of the scene made communication difficult and erratic

Initial reports link the explosion to a buildup of high-pressure, underground fumes that blew out a wellhead shooting shrapnel in all directions causing the injuries.