One Oil Worker Killed in California Well Explosion

Well control experts from Boots & Coots were working Monday to put out an oil well fire that killed one person and critically injured another. The fire was under control, but was not expected to be extinguished until Tuesday, according to Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Brian Jordan.

The explosion occurred Saturday morning near Castaic, California. Firefighters will have to cut the oil derrick in half with welders, then remove it before they can begin to cap or seal the well.

The body of a 43-year-old man, who had been reported missing after the 2 a.m. explosion, was found behind an oil rig near the well hours after the explosion. The man's identity was withheld Sunday pending a check of dental records. Delton Russin, 35, of Bakersfield, suffered burns to his face and upper body. He remains in critical but stable condition at Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. Both men worked for Caza Drilling out of Denver, Colorado.

The cause of the explosion has not been determined. Officials from Cal-OSHA and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are conducting the investigation. The fire is not considered an environmental hazard.


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