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Work Halted after Fatal Tank Collapse

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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With construction suspended, federal authorities are investigating the collapse of an industrial storage tank that sent two workers plummeting 60 feet to their deaths.

Andres Olivarez, 57, of Mathis, TX, and Colter Huff, 19, of Temple, GA, had been performing welding on the above-ground oil storage tank when the accident occurred about 2 p.m. CST Sunday (Dec. 15) at Trafigura Terminals LLC in Corpus Christi, reports said.

TankDeaths
Screen grab: KRISTV

The workers were killed during construction of an above-ground storage tank in Corpus Christi, TX.

Early details of the incident conflicted. It was not clear whether the roof collapsed on top of the victims or gave way below them. None of the reports indicated whether the victims had been wearing fall protection.

The accident reportedly involved the collapse of some I-beams, but details were sketchy as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began its investigation.

Work on the tanks was halted during the investigation, news outlets reported.

Contractor Employees

The above-ground storage tanks are being built at Trafigura Terminals' petroleum liquids terminal. The 84-acre site has 10 storage tanks, with the space and capacity for many more from the Eagle Ford Shale formation, according to the company's website. A pipeline to the terminal is also planned.

Tarsco

The victims worked for Tarsco, which provides a range of tank services.

The victims worked for Tarsco, a California-based TF Warren company that provides above-ground tank design, construction, maintenance, coating and repair services for a variety of industries.

Tarsco did not respond Tuesday (Dec. 17) to a request for comment but released a statement to several news outlets that said in part: "...Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones. At this time the incident is under investigation by OSHA and other authorities; additional details will be forthcoming at the appropriate time."

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Fall protection; Fatalities; Oil and Gas; OSHA; Tanks and vessels

Comment from Frank Van Dijck, (12/18/2013, 4:38 AM)

When are they going to take the necessary safety measures ? When you enter a tank with a floating roof, you must secure the roof by installing extra supports. A floating roof is made to float on liquid, not on air! We clean such tanks daily, but never without extra support. My condolences to the families


Comment from Billy Russell, (12/18/2013, 3:52 PM)

Prayers for the Brothers that lost their lives and to their families, NO excuse for this procedure was not followed, on site inspector ????? where were you sir


Comment from Mark Waaraniemi, (12/18/2013, 3:53 PM)

Hopefully they’ll start taking the necessary safety measures BEFORE the next incident happens. Accidents happen but they can be prevented and prepared for. My condolences as well.


Comment from Steve Edgar, (12/18/2013, 3:58 PM)

Frank....From what I read, the workers fell 60’, assuming from the roof. According to the article, possibly the I-Beams collapsed. Where did you read that they were working on a floating roof? If those are 10’ sheets, then the tank height would be at 60’. Seems you are jumping to conclusions. My condolences to the families as well.


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