Texas oilfield company executive indicted for gas deaths of his employee and his spouse

Natalee Dean visited Jacob Dean to make sure he was okay after he failed to return from Odessa's Aghorn pump house.

Texas oilfield company executive indicted for gas deaths of his employee and his spouse

Officials said that both were overcome by hydrogen sulfuride, a poisonous chemical.

MIDLAND, Texas -- A Texas oilfield company and a company director have been indicted in a 2019 case involving the deaths by poisonous gases of a worker's wife and a worker.

According to a Justice Department statement Tuesday, the Midland federal grand jury charged Odessa-based Aghorn Operating Inc. with violating federal clean water laws and obstructing an investigation into federal job safety.


They were also charged together with an Aghorn affiliate with violating federal safe water laws as well as making false statements on forms certifying the mechanical integrity Aghorn's injection holes.

Aghorn was also charged with three crimes related to job safety that led to the deaths.

Jacob, and Natalee Dean both died Oct. 26, 2019, after inhaling hydrogen sulfur gas at an Aghorn pumphouse in Odessa.

According to the Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Aghorn officials sent Jacob Dean to inspect the facility. His wife tried to contact him by phone, but he did not return as expected.

She drove her two children, aged 6 and 9, to the pumphouse. To get to the pump house, she left her vehicle and was also overcome by the highly corrosive colorless gas as she entered the building. The children weren't hurt and were left in their car.

Aghorn's receptionist said that the company would not comment. A past representation of Aghorn by a law firm did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

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