3 injured in oil tank battery fire east of Briggsdale in Weld County

Posted at 11:10 AM, Oct 27, 2018

WELD COUNTY, Colo. – Three people working at an oil site not far from Briggsdale in Weld County were injured after an oil tank battery caught fire Saturday morning.

At around 9 a.m., the Weld County Sheriff’s Office responded to the fire in the area of Highway 14 and Weld County Road 83.

When deputies arrived, they found the tank battery engulfed in flames.

“Initial information suggests that the fire started during maintenance operations,” said Weld County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Matt Turner.

Two of the crew members who were injured were taken to North Colorado Medical Center with minor injuries. A third was taken to the same hospital via helicopter due to severe burns following the fire.

Speaking with Denver7, Turner said the fire was caused by leftover oil remnants inside an old oil tank.

By late Saturday afternoon, a spokesperson for Mallard Exploration, a Denver-based oil and natural gas company that owns the site where the fire took place, sent the following statement to Denver7: 

This morning, a team of contractors was working at a new construction site owned by Mallard Exploration. This 10-acre site is located east of Briggsdale in rural Weld County. There are no producing wells currently at this location.

While one of the contractors was working on an out-of-service storage tank, sparks from a power tool ignited some residual oil and vapor inside the tank. The contractor suffered burns and was airlifted to hospital. Two other contractors were taken to hospital by ambulance with minor injuries. We are currently informed none of the injuries are considered life threatening.

The resulting fire was quickly extinguished by local first responders and at all times the incident was contained to the site. Mallard Exploration officials are working closely with local agencies, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the firm that employs the three injured contractors to ensure this incident is fully investigated.

Our thoughts are with our contractors and their families at this time.

The spokesperson said no current oil and natural gas production is taking place at that site.