Anadarko reaches settlement with Firestone explosion victims’ families

FIRESTONE, Colo. — The company that owns the gas line that caused the Firestone explosion that killed two men last year has reached a settlement with their families.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation announced on Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the relatives of Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin.

The explosion also injured Erin Martinez and her son. Erin is Mark’s wife and Irwin’s sister.

Erin is listed as a recipient in the settlement along with Irwin’s parents.

“Anadarko operated and owned a vertical natural gas well that was drilled by a previous operator in 1993 and was located approximately 200 feet from the Martinez home.

The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District has found that a gas line attached to the well and severed near the foundation of the Martinez home leaked flammable gas into the soil,” the oil company said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, less than one week after the explosion, the Frederick-Firestone fire department said a 1-inch return line connected to the well had been abandoned but not disconnected from the wellhead and sealed, a violation of Colorado law.

The line later leaked methane into the Martinez home through drains. The gas exploded when Mark and Irwin were trying to install a hot-water heater.

The explosion led to an emergency inspection order from Gov. John Hickenlooper and to some new regulations across the state.

Anadarko said it has a limited capacity to discuss the event due to an ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. However, it said, “it is clear that Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin were innocent victims in the explosion. Neither they nor Erin Martinez bear any responsibility or fault for what occurred.”

The company also expressed their condolences to the families and their loved ones.

“The company remains committed to permanently plugging, abandoning and removing the well, and two others nearby, as well as the associated equipment located in and around the Oak Meadows neighborhood,” Anadarko said.

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