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Oil storage site explosion kills three in east-central Wyoming

Oil storage site explosion kills three in east-central Wyoming

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An explosion and fire at an east-central Wyoming oil storage site killed three workers Monday morning, an oil company spokesman said.

The incident occured shortly after 10 a.m., said Dennis Neill of Samson Resources Co., which owns the facility in Converse County.

Neill told The Associated Press the explosion occurred as workers were laying a fuel line intended to supply a heater treatment facility that separates oil from water as the two are pumped out of the ground.

Neill said the workers were employed by a contractor the Tulsa, Okla.-based Samson hired to bring an oil well that the company had recently acquired back into production. The site is located 35 miles northeast of Glenrock. The well wasn’t involved in the explosion and subsequent fire.

Neill said a subsequent fire burned about 10 acres before it was brought under control.

The site is safely secured, according to a Samson media release also issued by the Converse County Sheriff’s Office. Company personnel are on-site to assist and a Samson emergency

response team was on its way to the site to assist in the investigation, according to the release.

The names of the workers killed in the explosion have not yet been released. A call to the Converse County Coroner’s Office was not immediately returned.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who died in this accident,” Phil Schmucker, senior vice president of operations for Samson, said in the release. “Samson will work closely with federal, state and local officials to assist with the investigation of this tragic incident and will work with the combined team to provide updates on the situation as the investigation continues.”

The Converse County Sheriff’s Office took control of the scene Monday. A deputy turned away media vehicles Monday afternoon at a checkpoint a few miles west of the facility.

Reach Jeremy Fugleberg at 307-266-0623 or jeremy.fugleberg@trib.com. Read his blog at http://trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/boom/ and follow him on Twitter: @jerenegy.

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