One dead after oil field pipeline explosion south of Artesia

Posted at: 07/31/2014 6:07 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A tragic accident in southeastern New Mexico occurred Wednesday. A 21-year-old was killed after a pipeline exploded on an oil field south of Artesia.

Eddy County deputies say Fabian Martinez and three others were in a pit cutting a pipeline and disassembling PVC pipe when the pipeline exploded. Hydrogen gases were immediately released into the air.

Three workers were able to escape, but Martinez was trapped inside the pit by the pipe. Investigators say he was unable to be rescued and succumbed to the fumes.

The accident happened in an expansive oilfield south of Artesia.

The company, Diversified Oil Field Services, says the accident is under investigation.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 did learn the company held a series of safety meetings Thursday morning.

Tragedy also hit another Eddy County oil field Thursday morning at a field in Carlsbad on Grubbs road.

Investigators say heavy pipes fell off a forklift, landed on and killed 47-year-old William Welchance, a trucker from Texas.