Two GJ men injured in Utah rig explosion

By: Associated Press & KKCO 11 News Email
By: Associated Press & KKCO 11 News Email

GRAND COUNTY, Utah (KKCO) - Two Grand Junction men are injured after a rig explosion in the Bookcliffs in Grand County, Utah.

Sheriff’s officials say 25–year–old Jeremiah Thurston and Lyle 'Red' Anthony were working a rig in the Horse Point Canyon area when the accident happened.

They say the drill rig was cleaning out a gas well when fumes from a flow-back tank drifted toward the rig motor causing it to rev.

The two men were working toward the motor to turn it off when the fumes ignited around them.

Thurston was airlifted to a burn center in Utah where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Anthony was treated and released at the scene.

OSHA has been notified and will conduct an investigation, but officials say the rig itself wasn’t damaged.

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  • by Juli Location: Paris, France on Nov 16, 2009 at 08:09 AM
    We arrived to visit my mom and Lyle two days after the accident, so we were really surprised! Lyle has his great sense of humor, even when he's hurt and has bandages wrapped around his head! We hope that Jeremiah will recover quickly! :-) Sending positive thoughts from Paris!
  • by Randy Location: Grand Junction on Nov 9, 2009 at 05:45 AM
    Thanks for all the prayers. Some people have asked if there has been a fund set up to help out with living costs and such. Well we have set up an account in Jeremiah's name at Wells Fargo Bank. You can go to any Wells Fargo Bank and tell them that you would like to donate to the Jeremaih Thurston fund. Thanks to all of you once again.
  • by Tami Thye-Harold Location: Grand Junction Colorado on Oct 27, 2009 at 05:58 PM
    If you don't know what happened during this accident then you have no room to say that people were putting money before personal safety. The only people who know what happened are the one's that were there. Don't speculate that the owner of the compay was putting lives in danger. Accidents happen, This was simply that. Horrific and life changing as it may be for MANY families no one is pointing fingers and saying 'shame on you'. How many company owners do you know who would rush to physically put flames out on a burning employee? Not many. Thank you Red, Thank you for saving Jerimiah. You both have a long road of healing ahead of you. Please be respectful to all people involved in this tradigic accident, don't assume anything.
  • by Laura Location: Kenai, Alaska on Oct 25, 2009 at 05:45 PM
    Lyle is my uncle. I am keeping him and the Thurston family in my prayers as well. Praying for strenght for both families as well.
  • by Lucy Anthony on Oct 24, 2009 at 06:30 PM
    Your prayers and thoughtful comments are appreciated. Lyle and I were not aware this story made the new until a few hours ago. We were very touched by your comments. Lyle is healing; the swelling has decreased significantly in his face. He can see and talk normally today. His spirits are up. He has a little numbness in his bottom lip and his nose. He is missing a mustash and eyebrows, oh yah and quit a bit of hair, but if you know Lyle you know he is not vain, so he is just taking it easy for a while and is anxious to get back to work. We are extremely concerned about Jerimiah and his family. He will need consistant long term prayer. He is so special and we feel so sad that he has to go through this. Thanks so much for taking the time to express you feelings, we are very touched. Red and Lucy
  • by Becky Location: Elko, NV on Oct 24, 2009 at 06:00 PM
    Randy, Please call your Grandfather.
  • by Wallace Location: Clifton on Oct 24, 2009 at 02:43 AM
    My condolences go out for these men and their family’s but safety was not being used on this location or this would not have happened safety must be first in everything you do when you are working with gas this is a perfect example of coast first and your lives second there should be a investigation on the safety and qualifications of all involved know not only are these men going to suffer from this for a long time but there family’s are going to suffer also financially and emotionally where can I send some kind of donation to help these family’s out.
  • by rose Location: clifton,co on Oct 23, 2009 at 01:24 PM
    I to am a true friend, I have said prayers and call to support them. I also hope that both men are ok. my thoughts and prayers are truly with Jeremiah and cathy.
  • by Randy Location: Grand Junction on Oct 23, 2009 at 01:13 PM
    I am Jeremiahs oldest brother. We are here in salt lake and he is in ICU.He is in critical condition and has a long road ahead. We as a family want to thank Red and all of his crew for the courageous efforts to save my brother. Also the staff at university hospital.We will try to update every chance we get.
  • by Tami Location: Grand Junction, Colorado on Oct 23, 2009 at 11:09 AM
    Jerimiah and Red are both friends of my family. They have both over come tremendous things in thier lives from cancer, air plane crashes, and addictions. The Thurston family has asked for prayers for Jerimiah and Red who at this point are both still in the hospital. They are both wonderful men and are the kind of people I am glad my family knows. Please pray for recovery for both. I know the Thurston and Anthony families appriciates all the positive thoughts and prayer.
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