High Pressure Leak Kills 2, Hurts 1

Friday, April 15, 2016 @ 02:04 PM gHale


Two people died and another injured in a high-pressure leak in a South Texas pipeline Tuesday afternoon near Woodsboro, TX.

Dennis Henneke, 54, of Woodsboro, died at the scene of the accident after equipment he was using “appears to have failed,” said officials at Southcross Energy Partners. Henneke worked at Southcross Energy as a construction supervisor.

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Jesse Gonzalez Jr., 30, of San Diego, died at the Refugio County Memorial Hospital. Another contractor, Rene Roel Elizondo Jr., 22, of San Diego, suffered an injury and is recovering.

The three men were working in a manhole when about 800 pounds of pressure leaked, blowing them out of the manhole.

A statement Wednesday from Dallas-based Southcross said a piece of equipment used by the contract workers, including the man who was injured, apparently failed.

Southcross said the incident did not result in a gas release or fire, and that it was investigating the cause. Woodsboro is about six miles south of Refugio on U.S. Highway 77.

This is the latest in a string of incidents reported at Southcross facilities in just over a year.

Two workers were injured after an explosion and large fire in February at the company’s plant in Frio County, near San Antonio.

In January 2015, a fire erupted at the company’s Gregory plant. Three people were in the facility just off Farm-to-Market Road 136 during the release of flammable gas and liquid that triggered a fire that prompted highway closures. No one suffered an injury in the incident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in July fined the Dallas-based gas processor $112,000 in that incident.