NM Pipeline Blast Kills One

Monday, August 4, 2014 @ 07:08 PM gHale

Four workers in a pit cutting a pipeline ended in tragedy as a 21-year-old man died when the pipeline exploded on an oil field south of Artesia, NM, Wednesday.

Fabian Martinez, 21, of Hobbs, NM, and three others were in a pit cutting a pipeline and disassembling PVC pipe when the pipeline exploded, Eddy County deputies said. Hydrogen gases immediately released into the air.

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The three other workers were able to escape, but Martinez ended up trapped inside the pit by the pipe. Investigators said rescue workers were unable to get to him and he succumbed to the fumes.

The accident happened in an expansive oilfield south of Artesia. The company, Diversified Oil Field Services, said the accident is under investigation.

The company held a series of safety meetings Thursday morning.

Diversified Oil Field Services issued a statement Thursday saying, “At this time all we want to say is we are praying, and our sympathy is with all our employees and their families.”

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