By Jenna Ebersole
The 29-year-old Nephi, Utah man burned in an explosion at an oil rig site in early September died of his injuries Friday, a Mountrail County Sheriff’s Office press release said.
Frontier Drilling worker Jeffrey Todd Kinkaid was transferring drilling fluid out of a 400-barrel tank at the time of the fire, Frontier Safety Director James Lynch said. He was burned over 90 percent of his body at the site 12 miles southwest of Stanley and transferred to Ramey Burn Center in St. Paul, Minn. by a North Star Life Flight, the release said.
Kinkaid had worked on the rig since January at different locations and was a derrickman who was not on the rig at the time but working at the 400-barrel tank that exploded, Lynch said. He said the incident is still under investigation.
“It’s a tragic accident, and we are exploring all avenues possible as to why it happened,” he said.
Lynch said the process at the tank was fairly routine, and OSHA is involved in the ongoing investigation.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family,” he added.
Frontier’s rig was on the location of a Slawson Companies’ site. Slawson General Counsel Stuart Kowalski said Kinkaid had a fiance and the company deeply regrets the incident.
“Our hearts go out to his family,” he said.
Kowalski said the company and contractors strive to be vigilant about safety.
“This is a dangerous business and safety is always number one. It’s got to be,” he said.
Kowalski said Kinkaid was opening the lid of the tank at the time of the explosion.
“You wish you could turn the clock back and have them inspect that tank differently,” he said. “We just feel terrible. For a young man to lose his life is just horrible.”