Teens die in oil tank explosion
Aspen, CO Colorado
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. ” Two teens were killed when an oil storage tank they were jumping on exploded and hurled them 150 yards, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
Undersheriff Michael Joos said the teens were killed Saturday night at a party near an oil well in the Routt National Forest, about 135 miles west of Denver.
The victims were identified as Samuel Hedemark, 17, of Phippsburg and Christopher King Fuller, 19, of Yampa.
Joos said vapor from the 160 barrels of crude oil in the tank may have been forced out through a relief valve by the pressure of the teens jumping on the top. He said deputies were investigating whether a campfire or a cigarette lighter may have ignited the vapor.
Joos said some of the 18 people at the party had lit a campfire, but he was not sure how close it was to the tank.
Rio Blanco County Coroner Randall Cochran said marijuana was found in both teens’ bodies and each had a blood-alcohol level higher than the 0.08 percent legal limit for driving. Cochran said Hedemark’s blood-alcohol was 0.112 percent and Fuller’s was 0.161.
Joos said a dog was also killed in the explosion, but no other injuries were reported.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was also investigating.
The sheriff’s office said a company called Pinnacle owned the tank, but no company by that name could be found with operations in Colorado. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates the industry, said it did not know who owned the tank.
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