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3 Injured by Explosion at Oklahoma Saltwater Disposal Well

Posted By Arnold & Itkin LLP || 18-Jul-2018

An explosion occurred on Wednesday afternoon at a saltwater disposal well in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma. The well, owned by Devon Energy, exploded just after 3 p.m. and ignited a fire. Authorities have informed the public that three people were transported to a nearby hospital with burn injuries. At this time, the severity of the injuries sustained by those transported to the hospital is unknown.

Burn injuries are often the deadliest effect of explosions in the energy industry. For survivors, severe burns can result in lifelong treatment, years of medical debt, and the end of their careers.

One Death & One Injury in 2017

Devon Energy experienced an industrial accident in one of its oilfields last year. In November of 2017, one person was killed and another was injured in an explosion at a Blaine County, Oklahoma oilfield run by the energy company. The company stood by its safety record in a subsequent statement about the explosion. Our industrial accident attorneys hope for a quick recovery for the people injured in today’s explosion. We also hope that the cause of the explosion is determined quickly.

Toxic Waste

Saltwater disposal wells are used for the disposal of wastewater produced while obtaining fuel through fracking. This hazardous wastewater usually contains large quantities of salt, toxic materials, and sometimes radioactivity. The presence of these materials produces a waste which can be volatile and prone to eruption. Reports of explosions at saltwater disposal wells are not uncommon; many have been reported since the boom of fracking.

Recently, Devon Energy has been an opponent of new environmental regulations placed on the fracking industry by the EPA. The company actively lobbies against federal regulations on fracking. However, Devon Energy’s website claims that the company seeks to “adopt technically sound and economically feasible controls that will avoid or mitigate negative [environmental] impact.”

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