Two Barton County, KN, men working on a leaky valve at a Kansas oilfield died after being overcome by deadly fumes.
The incident occurred Monday a few miles northeast of the town of Claflin, KN, at a rural saltwater disposal lease site.
Barton County Sheriff’s Office said Curtis Hoffman, 50, of Great Bend was working on a leaky valve of a saltwater disposal system in an underground cellar. At some point, he had asked his son-in-law, Kebby Myers, 30, of Claflin to bring him additional parts.
Investigators believe that soon after, Hoffman succumbed to hydrogen sulfide gas, a byproduct from the production of oil and natural gas. When Myers returned, fumes also overwhelmed him.
When the pair didn’t arrive home as expected, family began looking for them. A relative soon after saw their vehicles outside the disposal well, and made the discovery. The leaking valve had since caused the cellar to flood.
Officials found Myers’ body near the steps of the flooded room. Rescue workers brought in other specialized hazardous material equipment, and after they removed the water from the structure they found Hoffman’s body.
The incident remains under investigation.