David Zamora, just 43, died Saturday of crush injuries at a drilling site in Belmont County, Ohio. The Big Foot Pad off Ohio 149 was the location of the incident. The Sheriff indicated this was the first such death in the county, but loss of life at drilling sites has become common regionally, with a Greene County man losing his life in an explosion earlier this year, and multiple explosions and deaths occurring in West Virginia.
The drilling of the Marcellus and Utica shale has brought an economic boost to the area, but the unprecedented pace of the work and company haste to cash in has also led to too much tragedy. Workplace injuries, wrongful deaths, burns, and drilling-site injuries continue to rise as regulators fail to keep pace with the various end-runs around the safety rules that companies attempt in order to keep the gas flowing.
David Zamora had only been in Ohio a very short time. He leaves a young son (10) behind and other devastated family members in Texas. Our hearts go out to them and our wish is that companies learn to hold the line on safety better than they have thus far. No exigency of operation should take precedence over doing the jobs safely and correctly. No more workers should have to die before this lesson is learned.