1 Dead, 3 Hurt in WY Gas Blast

Friday, September 26, 2014 @ 10:09 AM gHale

An explosion at a natural gas storage tank left one worker dead and three others injured Tuesday just west of Green River, WY, officials said.

The blast occurred as a maintenance crew was cleaning out the tank in the desert, said Stephen Malik Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

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The man who died was one of two contract workers working with two EOG Resources workers cleaning a tank when the incident occurred.

After the blast, three of the injured men went to a Salt Lake City hospital and the fourth worker ended up treated locally and released, said K Leonard, a spokeswoman for Houston-based EOG Resources, which owns the tank.

Malik said firefighters quickly put out the flames. The cause of the blast remained unknown.

“The tank stores natural gas, and was undergoing cleaning when the explosion occurred, the Lincoln County Homeland Security & Emergency Management said.

It was a flash fire, Leonard said. “We would not describe it as an explosion.”

In April, an explosion at a gas processing plant in western Wyoming prompted a daylong evacuation of nearby Opal, with a population of 100 people. Nobody was hurt in that blast but a fire burned for five days.

That plant owned by Tulsa, OK-based Williams is about 15 miles southwest of the tank that exploded Tuesday.

Western Wyoming is home to two of the biggest gas fields in the U.S. — the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field about 50 miles northeast of the EOG tank.

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