Most Texans know that major oil-and-gas accidents and oilfield injuries are common in the Lone Star State.
But do they know just how frequently they occur—and how bad they can be?
This Wikipedia page tracks significant oil-and-gas accidents by state, with all source documents carefully cited. You don’t have to study it for long before something jumps out at you: Texas is the most dangerous place in the United States for oilfield workers and for people living near refineries, pipelines, drilling sites, and other energy infrastructure.
According to Wikipedia’s list, at least 47 major oil-and-gas accidents have occurred in Texas since 1965, a rate of nearly one per year. They include the following:
- A 1965 gas well blowout near the town of Weatherford, resulting in a large, weeklong fire
- The 1998 collapse of a storage tank in Karnes County, leading to the release of nearly 25,000 gallons of crude oil into a tributary of the San Antonio River
- The 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, which killed 15 and injured 180
- A 2015 fracking well blowout that released a toxic mix of chemicals and forced the evacuation of 20 families
- Dozens of smaller explosions, battery fires, and releases of toxic chemicals, often resulting in injuries and deaths
Texas is one of the biggest U.S. states and the center of the nation’s energy industry, so its high ranking shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. But its dominance in this list is stunning.
The next highest state is Ohio, with 29. California and Pennsylvania each list 18. Neighboring Louisiana—another leader in the oil-and-gas industry—reports just 11.
Since this data comes from Wikipedia, it’s important to point out that the information is almost certainly incomplete—but that means the figure for Texas oil-and-gas accidents is likely to be far higher.
This page also doesn’t give readers an idea of what to do if they suffer an oilfield injury or are exposed to toxic chemicals related to an oil-and-gas accident.
After the immediate medical issues have been addressed, victims must seek legal assistance. The Roach Law Firm’s oilfield injury lawyers have won judgments and reached settlements totaling billions of dollars over the years. They include a record-setting $730 million in a Texas accident case, $90 million for steel worker sickened by workplace exposures, and $47 million for individuals injured at the Red River Army Depot.
The Roach Law Firm’s environmental contamination lawyers have also successfully represented thousands of victims of toxic spills and exposures, in cases involving some of the largest companies in the world. Those victories include a $119 million settlement with mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, reimbursing 7,000 Oklahomans injured by lead, arsenic, and cadmium contamination.
If you live in Texas or another state impacted by oil-and-gas exploration, make sure to protect your rights if you’re impacted by an accident. Contact the Roach Law Firm or another experienced oilfield injury lawyer immediately.