Two Dead in Oilfield Accident UPDATE

7:40 a.m. update   A deadly oilfield accident is under investigation today in Barton County.

Sheriff’s officers as well as Claflin Fire and EMS responded to location 3 miles north, 1 mile east and about another quarter-mile north of Claflin, Kansas on 140 RD. The location was a rural saltwater disposal lease. The call was initially reported as a possible drowning, it was later determined to be an oilfield related accident. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, it was determined that two individuals had been working on a saltwater disposal system in an underground cellar type structure. The body of one victim was immediately discovered near the steps in the flooded room.

It was determined by EMS personnel there was no chance of resuscitation. This victim was identified as Kebby R. Myers of age 30, Claflin, Kansas. The second victim was identified as Curtis L. Hoffman, age 50 of Great Bend. The accident scene was discovered by Myers’ wife, April.

Emergency personnel were unable to enter the structure due to high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas inside. Hydrogen sulfide is a byproduct from the production of oil and natural gas. It causes respiratory paralysis and is highly toxic.

Investigation indicates Hoffman had been working on a valve in the building and called Myers to bring him some parts. It appears Hoffman was overcome by the hydrogen sulfide gas and later when Myers arrived, he too was overcome. The leaking valve Hoffman had been working on then caused the cellar to flood. When the two did not arrive home as expected, family members began looking for them. It was at this point both of their vehicles were discovered outside of the disposal well.

Because of the extremely dangerous nature of the scene Haz-Mat Inc. was called to bring specialized equipment. Two oilfield tank trucks were also used to remove the water that was flooding into the structure. At about 12:20 AM, Hoffman’s body was recovered. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene by Deputy County Coroner, Doctor Witt.

4:55 a.m.  A deadly oilfield accident is under investigation today in Barton County. According to Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir, a father and son-in-law died in an accident about one mile northeast of Claflin on Monday.

Curtis Hoffman, 50, and son-in-law Kebby Myers, 30, were working on a saltwater disposal system, when an underground structure flooded. Both men may have died from a high amount of dangerous hydrogen sulfide gas in the air. The gas was so heavy that a hazardous materials unit was called to the scene.
More details will be released as they become available.

  • interesting

    Absolutely heartbreaking!!! Prayers to all the families! Lord hold these families in your loving arms and help guide them with your steady hand through this dark and tragic time, Amen.

  • Oilfield Wife

    I feel so awful for that poor woman, Lord please be with her and all the friends and family of these 2 men. Being an oilfield wife myself, I know this is always a possibility and a thought that keeps me up at night. I pray to God I never receive that phone call.

  • countryboy

    Before this blown out of the water by Should, Would, and Could. This is a job that is performed daily. Most likely been in this hole working on this line several times before. Never had a problem But there is the one time and it gets you. H2S is a very deadly order less gas that has killed many in the oilfields here in Central Kansas. All of us oilfield workers know the danger is there. Most are carrying H2s monitors but he did not have one on him at the time. Prayer going out to the families. Please nobody get on their soap box and start preaching safety. This is bad accident and that is what it is a bad accident. Yes it could of been avoided but it wasn’t here the levels were way to high and they were knocked out quickly.

  • http://hasyspost RD

    Prayers for the families of these men and prayers for the safety of all of the oilfield workers.
    THANK YOU ALL for working in often dangerous conditions to provide the rest of us with this much needed resource.

  • Ellis County resident

    I was an oilfield wife at one time, it ended the day my husband was killed on the job. I have carried this pain for many years and only time can help heal the pain. Prayers are out to this family for they shall need it.

    • Ellis resident

      Can’t imagine what you go through! I pray every night that mine comes home safely as well as the others on his crew. We are all like family.