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Sheriff: 2 killed, 9 hurt in West Texas oil field explosion (updated)

Published On: Apr 30 2014 11:23:19 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 05:03:04 PM CDT
Explosion
MENTONE, Texas (AP) -

A sheriff says the number of oil workers injured following a fatal explosion at a West Texas oil field has grown to nine.

Two workers were killed in the explosion Wednesday morning near Texas' border with New Mexico. Loving County Sheriff Billy Hopper initially said four workers were hurt. He did not know the extent of the injuries.

He said the workers were changing a wellhead when a buildup of pressure led to the explosion. He earlier indicated the workers were operating an oil rig.

He said emergency personnel are at the scene about 60 miles southeast of Carlsbad, N.M., but that receiving updates is difficult because radio communications are erratic and cellphones are inoperable in the rural area.

Hopper said he doesn't know which company operates the oil field, but KWES TV of Odessa is reporting the area where the explosion occurred is owned by RKI Exploration and Production.

Previous story:

A West Texas sheriff says two oil workers have been killed and four others injured in an explosion at an oil field near the New Mexico border.

Loving County Sheriff Billy Hopper said an emergency call was received between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday about the accident at an oil rig, which was operating some 10 miles south of the New Mexico line.

Hopper said the workers were operating a rig that separates production fluids, such as oil from water.
    
He said emergency personnel are at the scene but receiving updates is difficult because radio communications are erratic and cell phones are inoperable in the rural area.
    
The extent of the injuries to the four workers was not immediately clear.