Men burned at Pioneer Natural Resources Monday recovering

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

Oct. 2, 2013 at 5:02 a.m.
Updated Oct. 3, 2013 at 5:03 a.m.

At least one of the men burned on the job at Pioneer Natural Resources on Monday night was released Wednesday from the hospital.

Charles Windham, no age available, of Victoria, was taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center and treated for burns on his face, hands and arms. He is now back home, said Mike Hurt, his pastor at Parkway Church.

Windham has been a church member for more than 15 years.

"He is an employee at Pioneer. ... He is a deacon and a small-group leader," Hurt said. "They (his family) are thankful for all the prayers and support."

The other man injured - Pat Lange - remains hospitalized for burns to his hands and forearms, said his boss Robbe Davis of Davis Contractors, of Cuero.

"They moved him to a regular room," Davis said. Lange is also at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

Lange, no age available, of Cuero, has worked for Davis Contractors for 19 years.

Davis Contractors was a subcontractor helping Pioneer Natural Resources move into the building at 15555 U.S. Highway 77 North.

"We did all the mechanical work on that project out there, and (Lange) was in the process of starting up all the propane-supplied equipment," Davis said of how Lange then lit the water heater. "It was actually a flash fire."

Davis Contractors fed the propane into the building through a pipe. It did not use a natural gas detector to determine whether propane was leaking from the pipe, and an investigation is ongoing, he said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not respond to questions about a possible investigation of Pioneer Natural Resources or Davis Contractors because of the federal government shutdown.

Its online database revealed since 2008 Pioneer Natural Resources has had two violations and Davis Contractors three violations.

Pioneer Natural Resources could not be reached for comment.



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