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Oil Well Fire Near Castaic Is Extinguished With 'Mud'

November 20, 2002|Wendy Thermos | Times Staff Writer

A team of oil field disaster specialists extinguished an oil well fire near Castaic, nearly three days after a wellhead explosion killed one man and left another badly burned, officials said Tuesday.

Boots & Coots International Well Control used drilling lubrication fluid, called "mud," to smother the fire late Monday, officials said.

Gene Gaz, area manager for Caza Drilling, the contractor operating the derrick where the fire occurred, said a temporary cover has been placed on the well until a permanent cap can be installed.

Joe Currington, 43, of Bakersfield, died in the 2 a.m. Saturday blast, which occurred when a plume of natural gas shot out of the well and caught fire. Another victim, Delton Rosson, 35, of Bakersfield, underwent skin-graft surgery Tuesday and faces another operation later this week, said a spokeswoman for the Grossman Burn Center.

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