A third worker has died as a result of the Chesapeake Energy Corporation oil rig explosion that occurred last Wednesday near Caldwell in Burleson County, Texas.
According to local media, the worker’s name was Brian Maldonado of San Diego, Texas. He was just 25 years old. He succumbed to his injuries after suffering third-degree burns over about 90% of his body. He was being treated at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas in Austin and was surrounded by loved ones when he died.
Maldonado was the third worker to lose his life in this wellsite explosion. The names of the other workers have not yet been released, but Chesapeake Energy Corporation reported that they lost a worker in the explosion, and oilfield service company Eagle Pressure Control also reported losing a worker who died the day after the blast. Another person was injured in the explosion, but we currently have no updates on their exact injuries and whether they’re expected to fully recover.
It’s also unclear at this time which company Maldonado worked for, as Forbes Energy Services also reported that they had a worker among the victims.
About the Explosion
The wellsite explosion happened on January 29th around 3:30 in the afternoon, along County Road 127 southwest of Caldwell. While the exact cause is still being investigated, an early inspection report indicated that workers were upgrading the well a surge of natural gas ignited, causing the deadly explosion. Firefighters, rescue personnel, and oilfield emergency response crews responded quickly and were able to eventually extinguish the fire.
The Deadliest Oilfield Accident Since January 2018
Maldonado’s death makes this the deadliest oilfield accident since January 2018, when an explosion at a Patterson-UTI Energy rig outside of Quinton, Oklahoma left five workers dead.
Our thoughts go out to the injured worker and the families of Maldonado and the other workers who lost their lives in this tragedy. We’ll continue following this incident as more details emerge.