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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Cause of fatal oil field accident remains uncertain

Oil workers in Montana know that their jobs can carry a risk of serious injury. But that doesn't mean that many accidents aren't preventable. When Bozeman-area residents suffer an injury through no fault of their own, the injured parties or their families should be aware of their rights to pursue compensation.

Montanans with personal injury or wrongful death concerns may take interest in the story of an oil field accident in Bakersfield, California. Two workers there were recently involved in a fatal accident whose cause is still uncertain. What is clear is that something went terribly wrong while the two were in a 15-foot-tall tank that left one man with a broken leg and the other deceased.

When rescue crews arrived, they were forced to extract the men through an 18-inch opening at the top of the tank. The rescuer who first reached the workers reported that one man was unconscious without a pulse. An ambulance paramedic declared the worker deceased after he was pulled out of the tank.

According to a representative from California OSHA, investigators were told that the two workers were testing the tank for leaks. This testing required the use of increased air pressure and a "false bottom" in the tank. Investigators speculate that the added air pressure could have moved the false bottom, leading to the two men's injuries. Reports of a sound like an explosion further support this idea.

Whatever the explanation for this fatal accident, the fact remains that oil field injuries happen far more than they should. Seeking legal counsel could be the best option available when workers or their families are faced with the aftermath of a serious injury.

Source:, "Oil field worker dies on the job north of Bakersfield," Oct 3, 2012

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