The Latest: Report: Uncontrolled gas release led to rig fire

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2018 5:27 PM
The Latest: Report: Uncontrolled gas release led to rig fire

QUINTON, Okla. (AP) — The Latest on a fiery explosion at an Oklahoma gas drilling rig (all times local):

4 p.m.

An initial report into a deadly natural gas rig explosion in Oklahoma indicates there was an uncontrolled release of gas that caught fire and that a worker at the scene tried unsuccessfully to shut down the well.

The incident report into the explosion and fire that killed five workers was released on Tuesday by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas operations in the state.

The blast happened Monday morning at a drilling site near Quinton, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa. The explosion sent plumes of black smoke into the air and left a derrick crumpled on the ground.

Once the drilling site was stabilized on Tuesday, authorities recovered the remains of all five workers.

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3 p.m.

Officials say they have recovered the remains of five workers missing since an explosion at an Oklahoma gas drilling rig.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said Tuesday personnel from the state medical examiner's office began searching for the workers about noon once the drilling site had been stabilized.

Morris says the bodies are being transported to Oklahoma City for identification.

The blast happened Monday morning at a drilling site near Quinton, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa. The explosion sent plumes of black smoke into the air and left a derrick crumpled on the ground.

Morris says the five employees who were killed were in an area of the drilling rig known as the "dog house" where the rig hands worked.

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10:25 a.m.

Officials say the five employees who have been missing since an explosion at an Oklahoma gas drilling rig are presumed dead.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said Tuesday that the search for the workers has turned to a recovery mission after the Monday morning blast in eastern Oklahoma.

Three of the workers were employed by Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. Company president and CEO Andy Hendricks pledged a full investigation into the explosion.

Emergency management officials said Monday night that the fire was extinguished. Authorities say 16 people who were on the site at the time of the blast escaped without major injuries. One person was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

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7:20 a.m.

The search is resuming for five people who are unaccounted for after a fiery explosion at an Oklahoma gas drilling rig.

The blast happened Monday morning at a drilling site near Quinton, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa. The explosion sent plumes of black smoke into the air and left a derrick crumpled on the ground. For much of the day Monday, emergency officials were unable to get near the rig because the fire was still burning.

Emergency management officials said Monday night that the fire was extinguished. Authorities say 16 people who were on the site at the time of the blast escaped without major injuries. One person was airlifted to a hospital, and five others remain missing.

The cause of the blast is not yet known.