Five Missing In Pittsburg County Gas Well Explosion

Marco Green
January 23, 2018

Workers were drilling a new well at the time of the explosion, according to the OCC.

Five people are missing after a gas well explosion in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma Monday (1/22).

At a press conference, Kevin Enloe, Pittsburg County Emergency Management, says that there nothing more than minor injuries from the 17 who escaped the explosion have been reported. The explosion, which happened near the town of Quinton about 140 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, sent black smoke to nearby farmlands.

Enloe said the explosion also started grass fires that are being contained, but said the rig was almost engulfed in flames.

More than 20 employees were at the natural gas well site when the blast was reported around 8:45 a.m., Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said.

Enloe said no employees were transported to the hospital and one was treated for burns on the scene before refusing transportation.

The operating company is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said.

The company says it was a drilling rig, but they are not sure exactly what it was drilling for.

State environmental and regulatory officials have been notified and were heading to the scene, according to Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain.

The rig was erected a few weeks ago and was much larger than an oil rig.

Morris said anyone wanting to check on their relatives can contact the Pittsburg County Sheriff's office at 918-423-5858. Aerial footage shows several fires were still burning by midday on the rig and other equipment; the derrick, a towering metal structure above the well, collapsed onto the ground.

Officials said the fire is containing itself, and that firefighters are only working around the perimeter to fight those fires.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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