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1 Dead, 2 Injured In Fracking Accident In Mead, Colorado

An accident at a fracking site in Mead, Colorado has left one Halliburton worker dead and two others seriously injured. The accident occurred on Thursday when the workers were trying to thaw a high-pressure water line that had become frozen given the awfully cold conditions in the state.

According to accident attorneys from Mead, the fire department reached the accident site to find one worker dead on the spot. One of the injured worker was taken to hospital by helicopter while the other one was carried by ambulance. The incident has rocked the small town of Mead in Weld County, some 30 miles north of Denver, Colorado.

Company Says it is Sorry for the Loss

Halliburton – the company that employed the workers – has issued a statement saying that they are deeply sorry about the loss and that their thoughts and prayers are with the families of the employees involved in the accident. The authorities also said that the company is doing all it can by working in tandem with local authorities who are digging deeper into the cause of the accident.

The accident is being investigated by the Mountain View Fire Rescue department. The cause of the ruptured line is as yet unknown but the men were supposed to be heating the frozen water line when the incident occurred. It is obvious that something went horribly wrong causing a stream of fresh water to burst out of the pipe. The estimated pressure of the water coming from the pipe is around 3,500 to 4,500 psi. The water had no fracking fluid in it since the workers were doing a pre-fracking operation.

First Drilling Fatality in Two Years

The dead worker has been identified as Matthew Smith, 36, who hailed from Brighton. The injured men are Thomas Sdlmayr, 48, and Grant Casey, 28. Smith was struck by the water bursting from the pipe and is supposed to have died from the impact of the pressurized water.

Halliburton was contracted by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to conduct fracking operations in Weld County. Fracking operations have not yet begin at the site and it is not clear what the company will do after the accident. According to accident attorneys in the area, the last confirmed fatality at a drilling/fracking site in Weld County occurred two years ago in August 2012 when a BGH GAs Test Operating Inc. employee was killed near Fort Lupton.

OSHA to Investigate Accident

OSHA’s Denver Area Director Herb Gibson said the agency had investigated the 2012 incident in Fort Lupton and will also do the same for the Mead accident. OSHA’s investigation will be focused on ensuring that the fracking site has comprehensive safety and health programs in place as per the agency’s guidelines.

The most common reasons for accident at well sites are struck-by hazards, fires, explosions and exposure to chemicals. Halliburton has refused to reveal any more details about the accident and the employees out of respect for the families. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office are also part of the investigation along with the fire department.