Roughneck News

Oklahoma-Massive Explosion At Oil Tank Battery West Of Waukomis Kills Oilfield Worker

January 19, 2017

Source: Enid News

Officials are confirming one fatality occurred in a massive explosion Wednesday evening west of here.

Firefighters from Waukomis Fire and Rescue stand next to a burned vehicle after an explosion at an oil well tank battery west of Waukomis on Flynn Road between Garland and Wheatridge Wednesday evening. (Billy Hefton / Enid News) Someone was at an oil tank battery site when an explosion occurred at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said. 

An SUV was in­­volved in the explosion about 2 1/2 miles west of Waukomis and one mile south on Flynn between Garland and Wheatridge. Niles said local auth­orities contacted Okla­homa Corporation Com­mission’s oil and gas division to investigate the explosion.

Niles on Thursday morning named Berexco LLC, based in Wichita, Kan., as the site owner. Niles said the victim did not work for the company.

 “The victim is not identifiable,” Niles said. “Everything is burned.”

He said the explosion “was enough to rattle the windows in the area.” 

The person killed previously was thought to be a company employee of the lease owners of the site but now know that to not be the case.

"Right now, (we) have a tentative identification on the person.”

The incident is being treated as an ongoing investigation because officials are unsure whether it was an industrial accident or not, Niles said.

“We will have to wait on the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause and nature of death,” Niles said. “Deputies will be doing followups the next couple of days and wait for the medical examiner’s report.”

A Waukomis firefighter walks past burned oil storage tanks after an explosion at the tank batterey on Flynn Road between Garland and Wheatridge Wednesday evening, about 2 1/2 miles west of Waukomis. Authorities confirmed that one person was killed in the massive blast, and a burned SUV was found at the oil field site. (Billy Hefton / Enid News) Niles said an examiner from the Oklahoma State Medical Examin­er’s Office was on scene at about 9:30 p.m., along with a state fire marshal’s investigator.

Emergency personnel from Waukomis and Drummond fire departments stood by in case of additional fire flareups. Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies also were on the scene.

“We don’t think there are any hazards (with the safety of the site),” Niles said. “The Waukomis and Drummond fire departments did a great job of containment and shut everything in so there are no leaks.”

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