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United States Chemical Safety
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  Incident Title
  Man Injured In Explosion While Purging Air Out of Methane Well Pump; Condition Upgraded  
  Location Date of Incident
  Gillette, WY, United States 11/15/2000- 8:00 AM
  CSB Incident Number NRC Report Number Board Ref. Number
  2000-5015 None Reported None Reported
  Current Status Date of Report Update
  No CSB Action 11/17/2000 - 1:10 PM
  Incident Types Location Types
  - Explosion
- Fire
Fixed Facility
  Evacuations Injuries Fatalities
  None Reported 1 None
  Chemicals Involved
  - Methane
  Description or Latest Development
Information Added: Friday, November 17, 2000 - 1:13 PM
Doctors have upgraded the condition of the injured worker from critical to serious.

Western Gas says it plans to investigate the accident and consider possible new safety measures for preventing future accidents, officials said.  

Hollis Barrington, production superintendent for Western Gas, says they will examine whether any of its equipment aroudn the well could create static electricity.  The victim was working alone inside a small building  when static electricity apparently ignited methane at a well pump, authorities said.

Information Added: Thursday, November 16, 2000 - 12:04 PM
The employee of Western Gas Resources, INc. was burned on his face and hands, authorities said.

He was in critical condition with third-degree burns following the accident at a coal bed methane well south of Gillette.

Roth was apparently alone when the accident occurred.  He used a cell phone to call for help.  He reproted growing pain and swelling in his face and hands.  A deputy eventually met up with him and an ambulance too him the rest of the way to Campbell County Memorial Hospital.

The man was later flown to Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colo.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The well is owned by Barrett Resources Corp.

The man in the fifth worker to be injured in a coal bed methane accident since July.  Two men were seriously hurt when a gas well erupted in September.  Two other men were seriously burned during an explosion at a wellhead in July.

  Sources ( * indicates the original source) Source Details
  • Media - Associated Press *
  • 11-16-2000 0928EST;11/16/2000 2106EST 


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