BP team to study deadly explosion

Mancos man killed in Monday’s blast

BP is bringing in an internal investigation team to look into an explosion at one of its stations that killed one worker and injured two others.

The blast occurred about 8:15 a.m. Monday at BP’s Piñon Compression Station, which is on the north side of U.S. Highway 160 near an Upper Pine River Fire Protection District station between Elmore’s Corner and Bayfield.

Mancos resident Randy Mathews, 42, was killed in the explosion. BP has not release the names of the injured workers.

The investigation team is led by BP’s Safety and Risk Group – an independent unit that reports to BP’s CEO, local spokewoman Julie Levy said.

It is common to bring in the team to assist in investigations with accidents such as this one, Levy said.

La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dan Bender said it was not a flammable explosion; rather, one involving a pressurized device.

Levy said it is too early to speculate about the cause. The blast occurred during a routine maintenance operation on a pipeline in which a device was sent through the system to collect data.

The workers on site were contractors from Alcorn Construction Inc., Crossfire LLC and Halliburton.

Crossfire had seven workers on site, including one who was injured in the accident. He is still in the hospital but is expected to make a full recovery, said owner Ezra Lee.

The station has been shut down, and it is unknown when it will open again.

The compression station is BP’s largest in La Plata County. It collects natural gas from well sites and sends it through another pipeline for storage. It handles about 30 million cubic feet of gas per day and prepares it to be sold on the market or stored.

There are counseling services on site for those present and their families, Levy said.

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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