One worker killed and 3 others hurt in Mead oil tank battery fire

The site is about 4 miles north of an Anadarko gas well in Firestone that was linked to a fatal home explosion in April.

AP_LOGO_02

GREELEY — Authorities say a worker was killed and three others were injured in an oil tank fire in northern Colorado.

The site in Mead owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation caught fire during maintenance work on the oil tanks Thursday afternoon. Three of the contract workers were hospitalized — one with serious injuries and two with moderate injuries. The dead worker was found soon after.

The names of the victims have not been released, and investigators have not said what caused the fire. Anadarko confirmed the death and said workers were “finishing projects associated with a facility upgrade.” The company didn’t elaborate.

The site is about 4 miles north of an Anadarko gas well in Firestone that was linked to a fatal home explosion in April.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former geologist who worked in the petroleum industry, said he agrees with local investigators who say that the two deadly incidents aren’t related. He also said that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Thursday’s blast.

House Majority Leader KC Becker and Rep. Mike Foote, both Democrats, said Friday that the fire was unacceptable — especially coming after a fatal house explosion in the region blamed on a natural gas pipe leak.

Foote said the industry and government “have an obligation to treat these incidents not as isolated or freak accidents.”

Anadarko is investigating the cause of the explosion, and the owner of the site said the oil tank battery was not in operation when it caught fire.

An oil tank battery is a collection of tanks that receive crude oil production from a well.

Last fall, a Denver Post investigative series found that there were at least 51 fatalities since 2003 in Colorado’s oil and gas fields. The investigation described a “system that falls short of consistently protecting workers and fails to hold companies strictly accountable.”

This story has been updated throughout.

Hi! You’re like us!

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.