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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

A Third Worker Dies from a December Oil Rig Blowout

Monday, January 12th, 2015
Deepsea Delta oil drilling rig in the North Sea.

Deepsea Delta oil drilling rig in the North Sea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pablo Energy, a company based in Amarillo, Texas, owns the oil rig near Coalgate, Oklahoma, where an explosion occurred on December 19, 2014. Two men died on the day of the fiery explosion, and a third worker succumbed to his injuries on December 30.

According to investigators, a fire broke out on the rig, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deadly incident.

There are many potential hazards on oil rigs, and oil rig blowouts are among the most common causes of explosion accidents. A blowout is usually caused by built-up pressure, and it is the uncontrolled release of natural gas or crude oil from an oil rig drilling system. There are technological systems in place that are designed to prevent the occurrence of blowouts, but the systems sometimes fail.

The following are examples of the most notable among the deadly oil rig blowouts that have occurred in the last five decades:

  • Forty-two people died in two separate blowouts and fires on Petrobras’ Enchova Platform in 1984 and 1988. The platform was a complete loss after the 1988 blowout.
  • Twenty-two people died after a shallow gas blowout when the C. P. Baker drilling barge, built in 1962, burned and sank.
  • Five lives were lost in Santa Fe’s Al Baz, which sank in a fiery blaze following a 1989 blowout.
  • Three people died in 2002 after fiery blowout that sank the Arabdrill 19 as well as a production platform.

OSHA has standards designed to help prevent oil rig accidents, and companies found to be in violation of those standards are penalized.

–Guest Contributor

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