Anadarko says agreement reached to 'resolve claims' of families of men killed in Firestone explosion

Details of agreement will remain secret
Posted at 3:18 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 19:47:24-04

DENVER – Anadarko Petroleum Company and the families of two men killed in a house explosion in Firestone last year which was caused by a leaking flow line have agreed to resolve claims made against the company, but the details of the agreement are confidential.

In a news release issued Wednesday afternoon, the company called the men killed in the explosion – Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin – “innocent victims” and said neither they nor Martinez’s wife “bear any responsibility or fault for what occurred.”

The company also apologized for the incident and said it was continuing its safety work in the area.

“The company remains committed to permanently plugging, abandoning and removing the well, and two others nearby, as well as the associated equipment located in and around the Oak Meadows neighborhood,” a news release from the company said.

But the details of the agreement are unknown as a National Transportation Safety Board investigation remains ongoing, which the company says “limits the company’s ability to discuss the event.” 

“Out of respect for the confidentiality of the agreement and the families we have nothing further to add beyond the statement provided,” Anadarko spokesperson Jennifer Brice told Denver7.

The company this week demolished a home next door to the home that exploded last April and suffered damage.

It also faces at least two lawsuits in connection with the Firestone explosion – one from neighbors in Firestone, and another from the company’s investors, who claim that Anadarko cut stuff and ignored safety concerns before the Firestone explosion, which caused the company’s stock prices to fall in the days after it occurred.

As the company continues to work on nearby wells, it continues to spend in Colorado politics, contributing more than $2 million so far this year – most of which went to a committee aiming to stop ballot initiatives that could hamper the industry in Colorado, and some of which went to candidate committees. Brice said in a statement to Denver7 last week the money was “essential in providing information to voters about the benefits our industry provides to the state and supporting the livelihoods of the thousands of people and dozens of communities that depend upon our business.”

The Irwin and Martinez families could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.