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First images now seen of fatal Uintah Co. oil tank explosion

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – People are now getting the first look at an oil tank explosion that killed a construction worker in the Uintah Basin. So far limited details are emerging about the blast.
UINTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – People are now getting the first look at an oil tank explosion that killed a construction worker in the Uintah Basin. So far limited details are emerging about the blast.

OSHA investigators, the State Fire Marshall and Uintah County Sheriff's Office are all trying to figure out why the tank blew up. ABC 4 Utah is told the responders have dealt with several issues with these oil tanks before, but they said it's nothing like this.

If you watch the video, you can see the damage done to the 400 barrel oil barrel tank near Roosevelt. Tuesday night the tank exploded and it cost a construction worker his life.

According to the Uintah County Sheriff's Office, the blast killed 28-year-old Tyson Boren of Neola.

"Those tanks are pretty large, and to knock one of those over is, you know, it had to be a sizeable explosion," said Corp. Brian Fletcher, Uintah Co. Sheriff’s Office.

ABC 4 Utah is told Boren was a contract welder for working for Newfield Exploration, an oil drilling company with an active drilling site in the Uintah Basin.

Boren and two other men were on site supposedly working on the tank, when it blew. Boren died. 32-year-old Rusty Harris, a Newfield employee, was hurt, and a water truck driver received no injuries.

The sheriff's office said the blast was hot enough to melt metal. Right now investigators on scene are still trying to determine what caused the tanker to explode.

"They would like to know how it happened so they can possibly prevent this or take further safety measures down the road to maybe help somebody else out," said Fletcher.

So far it's unclear how long it may take to determine what happened. But Rusty Harris, the other man hurt from the explosion is going to be okay. ABC 4 Utah is told he suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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