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5 Missing in Oklahoma Drilling Rig Explosion

5 Missing in Oklahoma Drilling Rig Explosion
(Kevin Harvison/The McAlester News-Capital via AP)

Monday, 22 January 2018 04:18 PM

Five Oklahoma drilling rig workers were missing Monday after an explosion caused a serious fire that burned for hours, according to authorities in the central US state.

The rig, near the small city of Quinton in eastern Oklahoma, exploded at approximately 8:45 am, officials said at a news conference. Emergency workers accounted for 17 workers who escaped the flames, but five others remained missing.

Crews searching the surrounding areas for other workers had not been able to find additional survivors, authorities added.

"The personnel that got off the location, they got together and knew who was on the location," said emergency manager Kevin Enloe of Pittsburg County, where the accident took place.

Officials did not know whether the new well was drilling natural gas or oil. They said the fire continued to burn hours after the incident and that all of the rig's components were ablaze.

"Pretty much everything that is on location is on fire," Enloe said, adding that personnel had surrounded the fire but were letting it burn itself out, while company officials figured out how to cap the well and stop the source of fuel for the fire.

The rig was owned by Patterson-UTI, a provider of drilling services to North American oil and gas companies. The company said it was responding to the incident.

"The cause of the fire is unknown at this time," Patterson-UTI said in a statement. "We've activated our emergency response systems and are fully cooperating with first responders and authorities on the scene."

© AFP 2019

   
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Five Oklahoma drilling rig workers were missing Monday after an explosion caused a serious fire that burned for hours, according to authorities in the central US state.The rig, near the small city of Quinton in eastern Oklahoma, exploded at approximately 8:45 am, officials...
gas, drilling rig, accident, oklahoma
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2018-18-22
Monday, 22 January 2018 04:18 PM
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