HOBSON (Karnes County TX) – A worker continues to recover from burns after officials say he was injured when his truck caught fire at a tank battery off Farm-to-Market Road 81, which is operated by 1776 Energy Operators, LLC.
According to Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) spokesman Ramona Nye, the blaze erupted at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, when a worker from Engineered Well Services drove up to service a crude oil tank. His truck burst into flames, igniting two tanks containing produced water and four that held crude oil.
A contractor on scene shut down two wells, which Nye said remain shut. The RRC was notified immediately.
“Protection of public safety and the environment is the RRC’s highest priority, and we dispatched an inspector to the site immediately,” she said. “The inspector met with an operator representative at the site.”
The truck’s driver, identified as 57-year-old Vidal Moreno of Bay City, suffered burns over 65 percent of his body and was flown via AirLIFE helicopter to the San Antonio Military Medical Center, said Chief Charlie Malik of the Karnes City Volunteer Fire Department. A hospital spokesman said Monday Moreno was listed in stable condition.
Malik said the fire was reported at 4:03 p.m. and that firefighters from Karnes City and Kenedy arrived at 4:18 p.m. However, because propane tanks on Moreno’s hot-oil truck were venting, firefighters had to stand by for 15 minutes before going in to fight the fire. The blaze was declared under control at 5:25 p.m.