Gasfield worker dies in Antero drill site mishap |

Gasfield worker dies in Antero drill site mishap

JOHN GARDNERGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SILT, Colo. Joseph Buchanan, 34, of Louisiana, was fatally injured in an apparent work-related accident at an Antero Resources gas-production drilling rig Thursday evening near Silt.The accident occurred at a drilling rig near mile marker one on County Road 315, (Mamm Creek Road). According to Garfield County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis, Rifle Fire Protection District (RFPD) responded to the call at 5:45 p.m. Thursday where they found Buchanan with head injuries.”It looks to be an apparent mechanical failure,” said Garfield County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Ashworth.McGinnis said the RFPD crew worked on Buchanan at the scene of the accident for nearly an hour before he was pronounced dead.McGinnis said several witnesses stated to deputies that Buchanan was bent forward checking something on the rig when a “swage,” a steel water fixture that connects two pieces of pipe, fell from about 50 feet, striking him on the back of his head.Antero spokesman, Kevin Kilstrom, said operations on the rig have been shut down pending the investigation. Kilstrom couldn’t say how long work would be halted.”Our main concern is just trying to ensure the comfort of his family and friends at this time,” Kilstrom said.Kilstrom said incidents resulting in death are “very rare” in the drilling business in comparison to other similar industries. He couldn’t comment on how many deaths have occurred at Antero sites in recent years, but said Antero took immediate action to ensure the safety of its employees.”We take safety very seriously,” Kilstrom said. “We do everything we can to reduce chances of similar accidents from happening in the future.”Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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