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.
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