How Do Oil Rig Explosions Occur?
Oil rig explosions are catastrophic events. Oil rig workers must contend with the possibility of fire and explosion daily. When an oil rig explosion occurs, the impact on its workers and their families is life-shattering.
One wrong move on an oil rig can result in a natural disaster and human fatalities like the notorious Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil rig workers who survive explosions are often left with catastrophic injuries.
Catastrophic injuries are lifelong injuries and include:
- Second and third-degree burns;
- Loss of a limb;
- Internal bleeding and organ damage;
- Spinal injuries with partial or total paralysis;
- Brain injuries such as traumatic brain injury.
There are both on-shore and off-shore oil rigs. These oil rigs are equally dangerous and ignite for similar reasons.
Off-Shore Oil Rig Explosions
Off-shore oil drilling platforms are storage facilities for flammable gas or oil until the rig returns to shore. Once an explosion is triggered on an off-shore drilling platform, there is a virtually endless supply of fuel to keep a fire burning.
Off-shore oil rig explosions, like on-shore oil rig explosions, may be caused by a blowout, equipment failure, a storm, or some type of negligence.
Blowouts and Oil Rig Explosions
A blowout is an uncontrolled release of oil from a well. Oil rigs have systems in place to balance pressure and prevent blowouts. However, if blowout equipment is poorly maintained or fails altogether, an explosion can occur.
Equipment Failure and Oil Rig Explosions
To work, equipment must be maintained and used correctly. Oil rig workers must be trained on equipment use and safety hazards.
When equipment fails, it may produce a spark and cause an explosion or worsen the impact of an explosion.
Storms and Oil Rig Explosions
Lightning, high winds, and downpours can all cause wear on and damage to oil rig equipment. A lightning strike alone could lead to a fire or explosion.
Negligence and Oil Rig Explosions
When employers and workers fail to follow safety protocols and standards, preventable accidents occur.
The victims of these accidents may hold other workers, their employers, or even equipment manufacturers at fault for failing to abide by regulatory guidelines.
Negligent actions that lead to oil rig explosions and fires may include:
- Cutting, welding, and grinding in a hazardous area or by an untrained worker;
- The use of inappropriate, unapproved, or poorly maintained electrical devices;
- The intentional act of a person; or
- An unintentional small fire in another area like the kitchen or a crew office.
Regardless of the cause of an oil rig explosion, it is wise to seek help from a New Mexico legal professional immediately to file a claim.
Contact an Experienced New Mexico Oil Rig Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an oil rig accident, do not wait to get help. An experienced New Mexico oil rig accident attorney at Liles White can start an investigation into your case today. Oil rig explosion claims are complex and often involve regulatory parties, multiple victims, and more than one defendant.
At Liles White, our team of specialized oil field accident lawyers in New Mexico have the experience and resources needed to pursue all those responsible for your injuries or the death of your loved one. There is never a charge to meet with one of our attorneys.
Contact us or call (361) 826-0100 today.