Kelowna man dies fracking

A Kelowna man has died at a hydraulic fracturing operation in Northern British Columbia.

Jack Shawn Eyles, 28, was killed in an industrial accident at the Progress Gas Plant north of Fort St. John on March 11.

Shortly after midnight, Eyles was part of a team working a well-site when something went wrong. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A source who preferred to remain anonymous, but worked with Eyles, said he was a "well liked, respected, fun-loving guy who is going to be greatly missed by his co-workers at Calfrac."

The source said Eyles was working in the nitrogen pumping division for Calfrac. 

"At the time he and others were working on a frac job for Progress Energy. It appears some high pressure iron failed, with Jack being in the immediate vicinity at the time."

The source said it was "Not an explosion as we we usually think, but an explosive or sudden release of extremely high pressure."

Trish Chernecki, senior manager with WorkSafeBC, said only preliminary information is available at this point.

"I can confirm that WorkSafeBC was contacted by the Fort St. John RCMP about the incident either in or near Wonowon, B.C., at 1:13 a.m on March 11," Chernecki said in an email to Castanet. 

"WorkSafeBC assigned two officers in the early hours of March 11. The employer’s name is Cal Frac, and the incident occurred at (the) Progress Energy Canada Ltd. site."

The Progress gas plant is about 200 kilometres north of Fort St. John, near Mile 126 of the Alaska Highway. 

The B.C. Coroner's service, WorkSafeBC and the RCMP continue to investigate the death. 


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