UPDATE: The BC Coroners Service confirmed the identity of the deceased March 12 as Jack Shawn Eyles, aged 28, of Kelowna.
The family of Mr. Eyles has been notified of his death, and the media has been asked by the BC Coroners Service to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
Mr. Eyles worked with a group of Calfrac employees that were based in Grande Prairie, Oke confirmed.
The workers on the crew have been receiving grief counseling and will return home on paid leave for a bereavement period.
Updated near the end with more comments from Calfrac — Ed.
An employee of Calfrac Well Services Ltd. was killed as a result of an accident that occurred in the early morning hours of March 11 at a Progress Energy well site about 175 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John.
WorkSafe BC Senior Media Manager Trish Knight Chernecki said her office is investigating the incident, which she said took place about 12:40 a.m.
Fort St. John RCMP and BC Coroners Service are also involved in the investigation, along with assessment teams from Calfrac and Progress.
“Earlier this morning an employee of Calfrac was conducting completion operations for us on a site northwest of Fort St. John [and] was injured fatally in an incident that occurred,” said Mark Fitzgerald, senior vice president of production facilities with Progress Energy.
Ed Oke, senior vice president of human resources and acting spokesperson for Calfrac, said the incident occurred when the company was conducting a fracking operation.
“We were actively conducting a [fracking] operation when it happened,” Oke said. “We don’t have a ton of details we can share at this point. WorkSafe BC sort of freezes the site and I can’t share a lot of information because their investigation is still ongoing.”
Oke confirmed the deceased was from B.C. but declined to offer further information pending notification of next of kin.
Fitzgerald also confirmed that Calfrac was conducting completion operations at the time of the incident.
“Once the well is drilled we conduct completion operations to really open the reservoir and prepare it for gas,” Fitzgerald said. “I can’t speak as to what specific stage of the operation Calfrac was at [when the incident occurred].”
The BC Oil and Gas Commission referred all questions to WorkSafe BC, who is the lead agency on this investigation.
"At this point it is about taking care of the family. We’ve been talking to them as much as we can and trying to help them out and also, getting our employees back to Grande Prairie which is their base because they’ve been up all night," said Oke.
This is a developing story. Alaska Highway News will provide updates as information can be verified.