Texas oil worker dies after falling into quarry in North Dakota

BISMARCK, ND (AP) — A Texas worker has died after falling on an oil rig in North Dakota.

Daniel Navarrete, 42, of New Braunfels, Texas, fell through an open manhole into a hole on a Nabors Industries drilling rig north of New Town on Thursday, Mountrail County Sheriff Cory Bristol said.

Other workers tried to save Navarrete and even drained the pit, the Bismarck Tribune reported Friday, but Navarrete died instantly.

Nabors Industries spokesman Robin Davidson said another facility, Devon Energy, owns and operates the facility.

“Please know that our hearts go out to the family and crew. We support Devon to understand what happened and what lessons can be learned from this tragic incident,” Davidson told The Associated Press.

Devon Energy spokeswoman Lisa Adams said the company was “devastated” by the death of Navarrete, who was a contractor.

“Safety is a Devon priority and we have stopped drilling operations while we work with local law enforcement, OSHA and Nabors,” Adams added.

In recent years, several workers have died or been injured at the Mountrail County oil slick.

Last September, an oil rig exploded at a drilling site owned by Chord Energy, sending three workers to a burn center.

In 2021, another explosion occurred at JM Oilfield Services when a water tank exploded, killing a 33-year-old worker and injuring another.

Mountrail County is one of the largest oil-producing counties in the state, and North Dakota is one of the largest oil-producing states in the country.

Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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