Worker killed in disposal tank explosion near Enid

From the Enid News and Eagle

Authorities have released the identities of a man killed and another injured in a saltwater disposal site blast Monday night southwest of Enid.

The deceased is Javier Varraza, a 32-year-old Hispanic male, said Eddie Johnson, family assistance coordinator with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He said blunt force head trauma was the cause of death, which was ruled an accident.

The injured party is Randall Fite, said Acting Garfield County Sheriff Jody Helm. He was transported to OU Medical Center. Fite is listed in good condition, a hospital spokesperson said.

Helm said both men are from out of state.

Helm said the incident happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday at 7800 E. Fox Drive.

“A crew was working on the top of a tank with a propane torch and a man lift, which caused an explosion,” Helm said.

The acting sheriff said the lease owner was Lagoon water services, which subcontracted to Jennings Energy, which employed the injured workers. All investigations have been turned over the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and other state agencies who deal with oilfield and safety incidents.

The OCC does not have jurisdiction over worker safety at oil sites, and any environmental impact from the explosion was confined within the site’s berm, said spokesman Matt Skinner.

“Our jurisdiction is environmental,” Skinner said.

Fairmont Fire Chief Joel Eggers, who said Fairmont Fire Department was dispatched at 6:30 p.m., confirmed one victim was mediflightted to the Oklahoma City hospital. Also responding were units from Enid, Pioneer-Skeleton Creek, Douglas and Breckinridge fire departments.