Posted On: November 20, 2008 by Steven J. Malman

Two Men Are Dead and Five Workers Are Injured in Illinois Oil Well Blast

Investigators in Illinois have identified the two men who died in an oil well blast last month. Using DNA samples and dental records, they confirmed that Albion Attorney Samuel Lee Fieber and West Salem worker Ronald Alldredge died from injuries they sustained in the explosion.

Kevin Alldredge, Ronald’s son and a Grayville rig hand, survived the blast but sustained burn injuries. Four other workers also were burned in the blast.

One worker, 38-year-old Browns resident Glen Isles, sustained first-, second-, and third-degree burns over different parts of his body. He was induced into a coma and placed on a ventilator. Isles is expected to undergo months of medical treatment to recover from his injuries. Brad Cunningham, an Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals well inspector, and Grayville worker Scott Funkhouser also suffered burn injuries.

The well that exploded belongs to French Creek Oil Co., which is owned by Fieber and his father V. Louis. This is the second time that an explosion has occurred at the well. The first blast accident took place 12 years ago. This latest blast occurred on October 29 while workers from Mason Well Servicing were cementing a finished well.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the work accident.

Oil Industry Accidents
Working at an oil well or an oil field can be a dangerous job that can lead to catastrophic injuries in the event of an accident. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 598 workers died while working on oil and gas fields between 2002 and 2007.

Common Oil Worker Accidents include:

• Fall accident
• Crush accidents
• Explosions
• Equipment-related accidents
• Motor vehicle accidents
• Well blasts, fires, and head blowout accidents

Illinois workers are entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Men who died in Illinois oil well explosion identified, CourierPress.com, October 31, 2008

Oil well explosion kills 2, injures 5 in Illinois, Examiner.com, October 29, 2008

Worker Deaths Rise as Oil and Gas Drilling Booms; Inexperience and Drugs are Blamed, ABC 26, September 10, 2008

Related Web Resources:

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

In Illinois, the Law Offices of Steven J. Malman & Associates, PC represents workers who have been injured in accidents while in the job. We can help you explore your options pertaining to workers' compensation claim as well as determine whether you have grounds to file an Illinois personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against any liable third parties.

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