Four people injured in workplace accident

Published: Jan. 31, 2014 at 11:18 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM CST
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Wheeler County, TX - Two people are being treated at a burn unit in Lubbock after a flash fire at a natural gas compressor station Wednesday.

Four Enbridge contractors were performing maintenance activities near the Midcoast Energy Partners compressor station in Wheeler County when the flash fire happened. Enbridge said the contractors were transported to a hospital in Wheeler. Two were treated and released, and the other two were transferred to a burn unit in Lubbock.

A safety consultant said a flash fire at a compressor station is very rare. "Flash fires are very uncommon because of the tight regulations and the tight safety systems inside the compressor stations and gas plants," said Presser safety consultant Bryan Gorham. "All of them have very regulated pressure release valves and all the things that help stop fires from happening."

Gorham said most compressor stations have emergency shut-offs and also have procedures in place to pump natural gas away from the plant in emergency situations.

He said OSHA, federal pipeline, and EPA regulations make the oil industry one of the safest and most regulated industries to work in.

Enbridge said an investigation on the flash fire is underway to determine what happened.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10