Josh White, 26, of Canadian, was critically injured in an explosion at a wellhead on a LeNorman location about 15 miles south of town Tuesday morning. White was flown from the location by LifeStar helicopter to Lubbock’s University Medical Center, where at last report, he was being evaluated by surgeons.
The accident occurred around 8 am on the Madeline 55-261 2H wellhead, located south of SH 33 on CR 14. A fracking crew for Cudd Energy Services had been working north of the location for several days, during which time, wells at nearby locations were shut in to help build up pressure. White, an employee of Canadian Contract Pumping, Inc., had been sent to the wellhead to open a valve and release the pressure. In the process, an explosion occurred.
According to Hemphill County Sheriff Nathan Lewis, a Cudd crew witnessed the gas explosion from a nearby hill and rushed to the site, where they found White lying on the ground. Both his right arm and left leg were badly mangled, but were not severed, as reported earlier by Amarillo news media.
Lewis said there was no fire, and that contrary to earlier reports, White had not been burned, though one side of his head was singed from the explosion.
Both the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office and EMS were alerted to the accident, and within 19 minutes, arrived at the location. LifeStar landed at 8:31 am, packaged the injured man, and lifted off at 8:56 am en route to Lubbock UMC, which has a Level I Trauma Center.
Sheriff Lewis said White was conscious and alert, but in shock, when they arrived on scene. He credited the quick actions of both Cudd and LeNorman crews who quickly compressed White’s leg and arm and loaded him on a truck to remove him from harm’s way. “They did a fantastic job,” Lewis said.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY HEMPHILL COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE