U.S. News

Third person dies from Chesapeake well blast in Texas: local media

(Reuters) - A third person has died following a blast this week at a Chesapeake Energy Corp well site in Burleson County, Texas, according to a local media report.

Brian Maldonado, 25, of San Diego, Texas, succumbed on Saturday morning to injuries he suffered during Wednesday’s blast, the Alice Echo News Journal reported, citing family and friends. Attempts by Reuters to reach Maldonado’s relatives were not immediately successful.

Oilfield service companies Eagle Pressure Control and a unit of Forbes Energy Services, along with Chesapeake, had workers on the scene when the blast occurred at the remote well site near Deanville, Texas, about 75 miles (121 km) east of Austin. An early inspection report said workers were upgrading the well when a surge of natural gas ignited.

It was not immediately clear which company Maldonado worked for. Forbes Energy Services on Friday said one of their employees was among the victims. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Two of the workers who died - one on the day of the blast, and the other on Thursday - worked for Eagle Pressure Control, according to a source familiar with the matter who declined on be named. Chesapeake on Friday said none of its employees were among the injured or deceased.

One other person was injured as a result of the blast, but no update has been provided on their condition.

Chesapeake and Eagle Pressure Control did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

The incident marks the deadliest oilfield accident since a January 2018 explosion at a Patterson-UTI Energy rig in Oklahoma killed five people.

Reporting by Liz Hampton: Editing by Daniel Wallis