Oil workers killed in Texas blast were subcontractors


Oil workers killed in Texas blast were subcontractors

ROGER JORDAN, Associate Editor

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- The two workers who died in an explosion at a well site in West Texas were subcontractors, the site’s operator has said.

Oklahoma City-based RKI Exploration & Production, which operates the site in Loving County, says it is investigating the cause of the incident, which also resulted in injuries to nine other workers.  

RKI’s Jeremy R. Fitzpatrick, Director -- Legal and Regulatory, said: “Work was being performed yesterday morning by independent contractors, and no RKI employees were present.  Obviously, we were very sorry to learn of the injuries and losses of life following this tragic incident.”

“The well is under control and the site is secure.  Our primary concern is the health of the injured contractors, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased workers.  The investigation is on-going to determine the cause of the incident.”

Sheriff Billy B. Hopper has identified the deceased workers as Amos B. Ortega, of Artesia, New Mexico, and Roberto Andrade Magdaleno, of El Paso.

The explosion occurred during the changing of a wellhead.

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