Brother Of Catoosa Man Killed By Oil Rig Explosion 'Wants Brother Back'

Friday, December 19th 2014, 7:59 pm
By: Tess Maune

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a change in the date for Kelsey Bellah's funeral service. It will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, December 22, 2014, at First Baptist Church of Rolling Hills in Tulsa.

A Catoosa man was one of two killed by an oil rig explosion in Coal County, Oklahoma.

Flames erupted early Friday morning about two miles west of Coalgate killing 27-year-old Kelsey Bellah and 26-year-old Gary Keenen of Ada.

Kelsey had only been working on the rig for about a month, and his brother, Tyler Bellah, said his baby brother took the job to turn his life around.

“No matter where we went, what we were doing, who was around, we had fun, people laughed, people smiled, it's who he was,” Tyler said.

He and Kelsey were only one year apart and he said if you ever got to meet Kelsey you loved him.

12/19/2014 Related Story: Two Killed, Three Injured In Coal County Drilling Rig Fire

Tyler said Kelsey loved people, animals and anything that had to do with the outdoors - especially riding dirt bikes and working on Jeeps.

“He was a good person all around. Never hurt anybody. I don't think he's ever been a in a fight in his life. But he had tattoos and people judged by it,” Tyler said.

He said Kelsey was also judged by his past.

He had done prison time for burglary and car theft, and when he got out, despite having completed welding school, Tyler said Kelsey's convictions made it hard for him to get a job.

The oil rig was supposed to be Kelsey's chance at a new life, but it took it instead.

“The part that tears me up the most is that my brother made some bad decisions and it ultimately put him on an oil rig, which caused him to die at 27 years old,” Tyler said.

He got the call Friday morning, that his best friend, and little brother, was gone.

“I've never had to lose my brother. I've lost two grandpas, I've lost friends, but there's not anything that I could say to explain this,” Tyler said.

Now he wants to know why it happened and how it happened, but most all just wants his brother back.

The state fire marshal and the Corporation Commission are investigating what happened.

Funeral services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, December 22 at the First Baptist Church of Rolling Hills, 19529 East 4th Place, Tulsa.

An account has been set up to help the family with expenses. The Kelsey Bellah Funeral Fund is at Arvest Bank.