Three Killed in Chesapeake Oil Rig Explosion

An oilfield at sunset

A third worker has now died from injuries caused in a Chesapeake Energy Inc. oil well explosion that occurred around 3:30 pm, Wednesday, January 29 just south of Caldwell, Texas. According to Chesapeake, one worker died on-site and a second worker died from severe injuries the next evening.

Railroad Commission of Texas inspectors say that the Burleson County explosion occurred during an Austin Chalk well head upgrade in Deanville around County Road 127 and FM-60. Chesapeake contractors from Eagle Pressure Control and C.C. Forbes reported they experienced a kick, then a second kick. In response, all employees left the site except 11, who remained to remove the rig and secure the well.

At this point, the kick gas ignited, killing one contractor – 38-year-old Tyler resident Windell Beddingfield - and injuring three others who were airlifted to nearby hospitals. A second, unidentified contractor succumbed to his injuries the next night.

On Saturday, February 1, Chesapeake Energy announced that a third contractor – 25-year-old San Diego resident Brian Maldonado - had died. Investigators are still looking into the exact cause of the blast.

Two Chesapeake Oil Rig Explosions in Under Two Weeks 

Another Chesapeake Energy Corp. explosion was reported in South Texas less than two weeks later. On Saturday, February 8, a resident near the well site on Sandy Point Road just northwest of Bryan reported sounds of an explosion around 1:00 am.

Investigators with the Texas Railroad Commission reported that an oil tank had exploded from extreme pressure due to a tank battery failure. The force reportedly blew the windows out of a Brazos County home nearby. This incident is still being examined. No injuries have been reported.

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