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.
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.”
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.”
Comment On This Article