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One of three workers critically hurt in a fast-moving fire at a western Wyoming natural gas production facility died at a Utah hospital Wednesday. Two others remained in serious-to-critical condition.
A spokeswoman for Salt Lake City's University Hospital Burn Unit, confirmed that Jared Loftiss, 35, had died of extensive burns late Tuesday night.
Stephen Malik, a spokesman for Lincoln County (Wyo.) Homeland Security & Emergency Management, said the workers were cleaning a storage tank about 2 p.m. Tuesday at the EOG Resources site, just south of La Barge, when the fire erupted.
Firefighters had doused the flames by late Tuesday afternoon, turning cleanup and followup work over to the company.
While the specific cause of the fire was under investigation, EOG Resources officials said the blaze was not an explosion, as initially reported, but a "flash fire" occurring when gas fumes from the tank apparently ignited during the cleaning operation.
While three of the workers reportedly were flown to the University Hospital Burn Unit, the fourth was treated at a local out-patient clinic and released, the company said.
In a statement released late Wednesday morning, EOG Resources said that Loftiss was a contract worker. The company would not answer further questions about how the fire began or what the cause may have been.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with these individuals and their families," said an EOG Resources spokeswoman.
Houston-based EOG Resources is one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas companies in the nation. In 2013, it was operating on estimated oil reserves of more than 2.1 million barrels of petroleum, 94 percent of that on holdings in the United States and the remainder on properties in Canada, Trinidad, the United Kingdom and China.