The three men were trying to heat a frozen high-pressure water line at the oil or gas well site when it ruptured, Weld County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Standridge said. One man was hit by a stream of water and died from the impact.
The injured men — Thomas Sedlmayr, 48, and Grant Casey, 28 — were flown to hospitals. The name of the man who was killed was not released.
“The pipe was frozen and they were trying to heat it up to get it flowing again,” Standridge said.
The temperature in the area was about zero degrees at the time of the accident, National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Kleyla said. Overnight, the temperature had dropped to minus 5, which is severe but not as cold as in other locations in Colorado such as Denver International Airport, where the low was minus 14.
The men were working for Halliburton Co., which Anadarko Petroleum Corp. contracted to perform fracking operations at the well. Fracking involves injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals into the ground to extract oil and gas from rock.