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OSHA to investigate oilfield accident that injured 1

The oil field accident that left one man seriously injured on Wednesday will be investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Michele Shield, Corpus Christi assistant area director.

The incident occurred at 9:22 a.m. Wednesday south of McFaddin when an oil rig operated by Corpus Christi-based Arrow Drilling Company sustained a blowout.

Injured was the derrickman, Fernando Munoz, 45, Edinburg, said John Viegas, Arrow Drilling Company manager.

It took rescuers at least an hour to rescue Munoz, who was trapped in the derrick 75 feet off the ground.

Munoz was transported to DeTar Hospital Navarro, but by Thursday had been transferred to another, unidentified hospital, said Judith Barefield, director of marketing for the DeTar Healthcare System.

Viegas said the incident happened quickly and was unusual for the type of shallow drilling the company works on. He would not say how deep the oil rig was drilling when the blowout occurred.

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“It was just something that was very spontaneous. It happened unexpectedly,” he said. “It caught us off guard. But everything that we did was correct, the plan went perfectly.”

Arrow Drilling is conducting an internal investigation. Viegas said the company still did not know exactly what caused the blowout.

He added the rig is back in operation.

A safety complaint was filed with OSHA against Arrow Drilling Company on March 22, 2012. The ticket was closed the same day, with the scope described as “no inspection/process inactive.”

Shield said that the mobility of drilling rigs means that the site may have been gone by the time OSHA investigators had arrived.

She also said sometimes disgruntled employees or family members file complaints that have no merit.

This article was written by Rye Druzin from Victoria Advocate, Texas and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.