NORPHLET, Ark.-- Officials say three workers are dead following an explosion at an abandoned oil well in southern Arkansas. They have now been identified and are Mercil "SHANE" Chelette, 38 OF LOUANN; Coley Gene Lee, 24 OF EL DORADO; and Lee Randal Ross, 24 OF EL DORADO.
Union County Emergency Manager Jerry Thomas says the three workers at Long Brothers Oil Company were taking apart a metal tank used to hold crude oil when a spark ignited some vapors inside on Monday. All three were killed. Their names haven't been released yet.
Thomas said the fire was extinguished in the tank but not before it spread to nearby woods. The fire was still burning a little after 5 p.m. but Thomas said forestry crews had it under control.
No one answered at a phone number listed for the company.