On Monday, December 5, tragedy struck San Augustine when two oil workers were killed and three injured during an oil well incident on Farm to Market Road 353, northeast of the town. According to local sheriff reports, a loose hydraulic line was to blame for the deadly explosion.
The incident occurred as workers attempted to restart an old well; upon doing so, the loose line burst and triggered a devastating explosion. Two of the workers, who worked at Jaguar and E6 Oil & Gas respectively, died on the scene while three others were flown immediately to local hospitals for treatment.
This incident serves as another reminder of the dangers that come with working in hazardous environments in the oil-and-gas industry. In light of these events, authorities are now investigating further how this could have happened and how they can help prevent similar accidents from occurring again in the future.
Poor Maintenance to Blame?
The restart procedures for old wells should have protected these men from harm. However, what safety protocols don't account for is poor upkeep. A loose hydraulic line is the responsibility of the companies who lease or own the well. No one should have attempted to restart that well without companies investing in a full inspection and maintenance program first. It's simply unacceptable that a loose hydraulic line cost these men their lives.
Our hearts go out to the families of all five workers. We wish the survivors a speedy recovery, and we hope the bereaved get answers soon.