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Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202469987 - Oil Worker Dies From Burns When Falls Into Sinkhole

Accident: 202469987 -- Report ID: 0950643 -- Event Date: 06/21/2011
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31482490506/21/20111382Chevron North American Exploration & Production Co
At approximately 10:50 a.m. on June 21, 2011, Employee #1, a 55-year-old male with Chevron North American Exploration & Production Company, and two coworkers were at gage site-15 to obtain two pieces of culvert at the site. The employees noticed soil discoloration on the easterly burm of the site. The three employees proceeded to the area of the soil discoloration. One coworker was walking in front and to the left of Employee #1, and the other coworker was walking behind and to the left of Employee #1. As the three employees neared the burm on the easterly side of the site, Employee #1 was walking near the burm on the southerly side of the site. Employee #1 without notice fell through soil into an unknown fluid filled sinkhole. Employee #1 yelled for help and a coworker immediately rendered assistance. The coworker reached into the sinkhole with his right arm in an attempt to assist Employee #1. The coworker was not able to reach Employee #1. The other coworker retrieved a piece of pipe and inserted into the sinkhole in an effort for Employee #1 to grab hold of the pipe. Employee #1 was engulfed in the sinkhole and was not visible to the coworkers. There was steam coming from the sinkhole from unknown fluid in the hole that reached up to within approximately five-feet of the top of the hole. The estimated temperature of the unknown fluid was 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. There was not any equipment involved in the incident. Employee #1 was killed in the event. The employer, Kern County Sheriff's Department, and Search and Rescue recovered the body of Employee #1 at approximately 4:00 a.m. on June 22, 2011. The Kern County Coroner's office took possession when Employee #1 was recovered from the sinkhole, and was then transported to the Kern County Morgue.
Keywords: burn, oil well drilling, steam, fall, oil well servicing
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 314824905 Fatality Other Occupation not reported

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