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Oil field worker injured in Weld Co. pipeline fire dies at Greeley hospital

Posted at 10:34 AM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 12:34:46-05

WELD COUNTY, Colo. – One of the three oil field workers injured in a pipeline fire last Thursday near Galeton died Tuesday at a Greeley hospital.

The worker was identified by the county as 61-year-old George Cottingham of Greeley. His manner and cause of death have yet to be determined pending an autopsy, Weld County Communications Director Jennifer Finch said.

Cottingham was one of three workers injured in the fire, which reportedly started while they were doing maintenance on the pipeline. Emergency responders and investigators described the fire as an industrial accident, and said the fire was a “flashover” – a quick burst of flames and heat.

Finch said Wednesday the origin of the fire was still being investigated by several agencies.

The well site is owned by PDC Energy while the gas line is operated by DCP Midstream, according to fire officials.

A PDC Energy spokesperson released the following statement last week after the incident:

“We have been made aware that a fire occurred this afternoon while a midstream operator was performing pipeline maintenance work on their equipment. We are working closely with local first responders to assess the situation. The first responders on-site determined that we could safely shut-in nearby wells and we have done so. We have confirmed that all PDC Energy employees are safe and accounted for and we will share more information as it becomes available.”

DCP Midstream released a statement at the time as well:

"Our first priority right now is supporting our employee and family, other employees are there with him at the hospital. We’re also thinking about the other two who were injured and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts."