Raymondville, TX Oil Field Boiler Explosion, Apr 1936



(Special Telegram)
Raymondville, April 3. -- One man was killed instantly, another died an hour later, and a third is in a critical condition as a result of a boiler explosion at the Shell Petroleum Company's deep test well, six miles northwest of here this morning.
ECTOR L. FIELDS, about 33, was killed instantly when his body was blown 20 from the boiler and buried in mud and water in the slush pit.
D. K. MUCHERSON, about 40, died about an hour after the explosion at the Kootsey Clinic here. His chest was caved in and he suffered severe body and face burns. MUCHERSON was found about 20 feet from the tank where his body was blown by the force of the explosion.
GEORGE D. GREER, also about 40, is in the Kootsey Clinic in a critical condition as a result of severe lacerations about his face and body. Physicians said there is hope that he may live.
The boiler exploded about 9:15 o'clock this morning. The big tank blew a hole about nine feet deep in the ground and knocked four other six-foot holes in the earth before it finally came to rest about 120 yards from its original position. The two other boilers were knocked from their foundation, but did not explode. Pieces of the boiler were found several hundred yards from the scene of the blast.
The giant derrick, capable of suspending 9,000 feet of casing, was undamaged by the blast.
FIELDS, who came here with the company about 10 days ago, when the test was spudded in, was from Leesville, La., and was a long-time employe of the Shell Petroleum company. MUCHERSON, a driller, also from Louisiana, was also a long-time employe. GREER remained conscious throughout the morning, but could give no explanation for the cause of the explosion.
Drilling activity will be suspended for at least two weeks before repairs can be made.

San Antonio Express Texas 1936-04-04