One More ND Oil Worker Killed

Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 02:06 PM gHale


A worker died in a crane accident at an oil well site in western North Dakota, federal officials said

The incident, which happened late Monday near Ross, ND, in Mountrail County, was the second oilfield-related death in North Dakota’s oil patch in the past week, said officials at the Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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The 36-year-old man died after being “stuck by the boom” of a crane, said OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke. The agency said he worked for Advance Energy, a South Boardman, Michigan-based drilling contractor. The man’s name was not immediately released pending notification of next of kin.

A man who answered phone at the drilling firm’s headquarters Tuesday would not confirm the death but said a company official was en route to North Dakota.

A crew was using the crane to take pipe out of the ground and replace a tool that was 650 feet underground, OSHA officials said.

The worker ended up struck and killed by the crane’s boom as it was lowered, the agency said.

OSHA also is investigating the cause of an explosion and fire at an oil well near Watford City on Saturday that killed a man and seriously injured two others. The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department said 52-year-old Johnny Stassinos of Rock Springs, Wyoming, died Saturday afternoon from injuries suffered that morning at a well site operated by XTO Energy Inc. near Watford City.

Officials said Daniel Montes, 28, of Fruita, Colorado, and Richard Maheu, 27, of Rock Springs, Wyoming, ended up airlifted to the Regions Burn Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they were in critical condition.

The men suffered third-degree burns to 70 percent of their bodies, said Eric Brooks, director of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s office in Bismarck.

Authorities said 40-year-old Justin Pyle of Grand Junction, Colorado, ended up treated for minor burns to his face at a Watford City hospital and later released.

OSHA said the latest death brings to 50 the number of oilfield-related fatalities in North Dakota since late 2010.