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One of two Carbon County men injured in a natural gas explosion was upgraded to fair condition Wednesday, but the second victim remained critical at the University of Utah Hospital Burn Center in Salt Lake City.
Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Wilets identified the men as Doug Jenkins, believed in his late 20s and in fair condition, and Larry Lee Joseph, believed in his 60s, who was critical.
The cause of the Tuesday morning explosion at the Dry Canyon Compressor Station, 30 miles northeast of Price in Nine Mile Canyon, remained under investigation, the Carbon County Sheriff's Office said.
The blast occurred shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, moments after a gas line at the station, operated by Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp., ruptured. Firefighting units from across Carbon County responded to rescue the injured and fight the ensuing fire. The blaze was brought to heel Tuesday afternoon, company officials said.
The station serves natural gas fields in the West Tavaputs formation of the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah.
Company officials said a preliminary inspection of the blast site showed that the compressor station had suffered extensive damage, effectively suspending natural gas production from the West Tavaputs field.
At the time of the incident, the company's net production from the West Tavaputs field was approximately 88 million cubic feet of gas equivalent per day.
Bill Barrett Corp. said it was making arrangements to transport a majority of its gas production through its other facilities in the area.