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At least 4 injured in California oil field - pipeline fault?

At least 4 injured in California oil field explosion and fire
6:41 p.m. February 6, 2007
TAFT – Explosions at an oil field Tuesday afternoon injured at least four workers, emergency responders and company representatives said.
An explosion occurred just before 2:35 p.m. at an oil field in Taft, about 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield. Authorities initially reported that two people were trapped in a burning building, but firefighters later determined no one was trapped, said Chris Cagle, an engineer at the Kern County Fire Department.
“The scene is evacuated; everyone is safe,” Cagle said.
One person was airlifted to a hospital with second- and third-degree burns, and three others were being treated for moderate injuries at local hospitals, authorities said.
Several small portable office structures were destroyed, but no major buildings burned, Cagle said.
The fire began on a gas line that ruptured and ignited, he said. The exact cause is being investigated.
The field is operated by Occidental of Elk Hills, a division of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, said Michael Glinzak, associate oil and gas engineer with the state Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.
The cause of the explosions and the extent of the damage are unknown, but the blasts appear to have originated at and spread from a transportation pipeline. Wells and gas valves in the area were being shut down as a precaution, said Susie Geiger, spokeswoman for Occidental of Elk Hills.
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Posted Date: 
7 February 2007 - 9:50am