OSHA Investigating Western Kansas Oilfield Explosion That Injured Five


Five people were hospitalized following a western Kansas oilfield explosion on Monday morning.

The blast occurred around 7:30 a.m. in an area southwest of Sharon Springs in Wallace County, Kansas. Fire Chief Jay Sharp with Rural Fire District 2 said workers were performing a drill stem test when something caused the gas to leak out of a pipe fitting and ignite.

Two people were critically injured, while three others suffered less severe injuries.

The injured workers were affiliated with Wichita-based Murfin Drilling Company, Inc.. which has an onsite rig in place.

Federal OSHA officials are conducting an onsite investigation.

The scene has since been cleared.

Murfin Drilling has been cited by OSHA on seven different occasions since 2006, including a fatality investigation in which a worker was killed when struck by material on a job site near Great Bend, Kansas in March of 2008.

Murfin Drilling’s website said the 90-year-old family-owned company operates oil rigs in the western half of Kansas, southwest Nebraska, eastern Colorado and Oklahoma’s Panhandle, with its operations comprising more than 1,300 wells.


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