Supplied Family members are seeking answers after a 36-year-old father of two died at a central Alberta drilling site on Thursday. Charles Oba was working near Consort when he was struck in the head by a section of pipe while conducting a pressure test on a hydraulic fracturing rig, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety said in a release. Oba’s elder brother, Scott, said he wants to know how such an accident could have happened. “We’re kind of surprised, we’re not talking about a third-world country,” he said in an interview. “How can they have a drilling accident in Canada?” Oba said he and his brother have seen their share of industrial accidents in their home country of Nigeria due to poor safety standards. “Where was he supposed to be? Where was he? Was there safety checks that were missed? What happened? We need specifics,” he said. The site, about 200 kilometres northeast of Calgary, is operated by Calgary’s Karve Energy Inc. Oba was employed by Element Technical Services, a Calgary-based company specializing in hydraulic fracturing and pressure pumping services. Oba said his brother had been employed by Element for about a year, and had lived in Calgary for the past five years after moving here from Nova Scotia. “Those two boys are devastated,” Oba’s brother said. While Oba was informed of his brother’s death on Thursday by his employer, he said the tragedy won’t seem real until the family sees his brother’s body, which is being held for an autopsy by the medical examiner. “In a way, you kind of want to see and verify that this is your brother,” he said. “Our mother is grieving, but we all want to see and confirm, so we know it’s him.” In the end, Oba hopes some good can come from the tragedy. “It’s not just for us, it’s for the next person,” he said. “Whatever specific job he was doing, they’re going to put somebody else in there.
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