Explosions at Abandoned Oil Well in Robertson County Injure At Least One

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email
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NEW BADEN, Texas - An afternoon oil field blast could be felt for miles around Robertson County Wednesday afternoon.

A worker injured at the site was airlifted to Houston.

This happened off Cazey Loop just four miles east of Franklin near the town of New Baden.

News 3 has been on scene Wednesday afternoon and spoke with a nearby resident who felt the explosion.

Plumes of black smoke billowed against a backdrop of blue skies as flames soared into the air just east of Franklin off Highway 79 as two oil field tanks burned.

"I felt it shake on the inside of me but I wasn't real sure what had happened until I heard sirens coming around," said Claire Harris, lives less than half a mile from the blast site in New Baden.

She was working in her shed.

"A big blast went off and I thought it was a motorcycle. One started up a few minutes later and right after that another big blast probably four or five minutes later," she said.

An oil field worker was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on this helicopter and is believed to have burns to his head and neck after the well was engulfed in flames. Sources tell us it was being capped and been out of commission for some time.

Robertson County Sheriff's Investigator Steve Misterek tells us the man was the only one on the site at the time of the fire and it's unclear what work was being done.

"We'll get in there and take a look at the site and see if we can find any clues to actually what happened and stuff. Qe haven't been able to talk to the individual due to his injuries," said Misterek.

The Sheriff’s Office had every available fire unit in the area on standby as they kept a very close eye on this fire. Only about two or three houses were immediately down wind of it.

"It's unfortunate it happened... I hope that guys ok," said Claire Harris.

Investigators tells us there was no immediate threat to the public.

We're told the injured worker was coherent and talking prior to being flown by medical helicopter to Houston.

*Previous Story*

An oil field worker suffers severe burns after a couple of explosions at an abandoned well near Franklin.

The explosions occurred around Noon at the site near the Rabe Cutoff Road, northeast of Franklin.

Sources tell News 3 the well has been out of commission for some time. The crew was there to cap the well.

Sheriff Gerald Yezak says the worker suffered severe burns to his face. He was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by St. Joseph Regional Health Center's helicopter, Air Med 12.

Some storage tanks at the site caught fire. The fire is contained and crews plan to let the fire burn itself out.

The News 3 Pinpoint Weather Team says winds are coming out of the south-southwest at around 10 to 15 miles per hour. So, some of that smoke may be making it's way up Highway 79 to the northeast.

Several News 3 viewers have sent us pictures of the smoke

News 3 has a crew is on scene. We'll have the latest on air and online as soon as we have it.


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