A flash fire erupted early Wednesday morning, injuring four contract workers doing maintenance work at a ConocoPhillips natural gas processing plant in Fremont County in Wyoming. The plant had been idle since Aug. 1 for planned maintenance, officials at the scene told local news media.
Maintenance work has been suspended and an investigation of the cause is under way at the plant, which experienced an explosion and fire in 2010. There was no release of gas into the atmosphere and no evacuation of residents in the area was necessary, according to reports from officials at the scene. Plant workers were evacuated and all plant personnel have been accounted for, local news reports said.
Of the four injured workers, three were reported to be badly burned. Two were taken to a medical center in Casper, WY, and a third person was sent to a burn center in Greeley, CO. The fourth went by ambulance to a hospital in Riverton, WY.
The incident occurred at ConocoPhillips’ Lost Cabin processing plant, and the fire was extinguished almost immediately, according to a spokesperson for the company. The 17-year-old plant strips carbon dioxide and sulfur compounds (hydrogen sulfide) from natural gas produced in nearby wells in the Lysite area in the west-central part of the state.
Located near Lysite, the plant processes about 313 MMcf/d of gas, according to 2011 reports to state environmental regulators. It is operated by ConocoPhillips-owned Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Co., with the Houston-based parent company owning a 46% working interest.
Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration representatives were at the site on Thursday but did not make any initial public announcements concerning the incident.
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