A contract oil well worker was crushed to death Tuesday, March 14, by malfunctioning oil rig equipment at a Denbury Resources well in Alvin, Texas.
The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as 43-year-old Antonio Perez of El Campo, Texas. Mr. Perez was a long-time employee of Pryor Packers, a company based in Laurel, Mississippi.
Lieutenant Varon Snelgrove told ABC 13 Eyewitness News Houston that Mr. Perez was an experienced well worker who had worked on the type of wells such as the one that killed him many times in the past. The Associated Press described Mr. Perez as a well service technician.
“Something on the well itself fell, causing the snatch block on the rig to fall,” Lt. Snelgrove told ABC 13. “It fell to the rig floor, and in doing so, it struck him, pinned him to the rig floor, killing him instantly.”
The Associated Press reported that a crane was brought in to lift the snatch block off of Mr. Perez.
The snatch block is an iron pulley and hook apparatus weighing between 2,500 to 3,000 pounds. It affixes to the well pipe and pulls it up and down.
“Denbury and its contractors are working closely with local public officials following the incident, and the investigation is ongoing,” a spokesman for Denbury Resources told ABC 13 Houston in a statement.
The accident occurred around 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Highway 35 and County Road 129 at a Hastings oil field well operated by Denbury Resources in Alvin, just south of Houston.