Emergency crews who responded to a significant explosion and fire at a drilling rig in Quinton, Oklahoma – roughly 100 miles southeast of Tulsa – have reported that 5 workers on site during the blast remain missing. The explosion, which occurred shortly before 9:00 am Monday morning, January 22, caused = structures to collapse and sparked several fires around the facility.
According to emergency responders from Pittsburg County Emergency Management, the drilling well had approximately two dozen workers on site at the time of the explosion. While 17 workers have been rescued and accounted for, 5 workers still remain missing. No fatalities have been confirmed.
The drilling site in question is owned by Red Mountain Energy, an Oklahoma-based oilfield operator, and drilled by Patterson-UTI Energy. Officials have not yet determined the underlying cause of the blast and subsequent fires, and are continuing to search the surrounding area for missing workers. While nearby homeowners were initially told to shelter in place following the explosion, authorities have stated that fires from the blast have been contained, and that there is no danger to surrounding residents. Authorities confirmed that they have avoiding spreading water on fires around the facility due to contaminants on site.
As emergency crews continue to sift through the drilling site in search of the unaccounted workers, state and federal officials have also responded to determine an underlying cause. The oil and gas industry is heavily regulated, and their investigations will focus on whether or not the facility and employees were in compliance with safety regulations designed to protect workers and nearby residents – particularly from threats that include explosions, fires, and toxic exposure.
As a law firm that advocates for victims of industrial accidents, oil and gas explosions, and other incidents on industrial property, The Daspit Law Firm expresses our concern and support for all victims and families affected by this event. We intend to follow ongoing investigations, which will focus largely on whether this blast could and should have been prevented. We also offer our support and representation to any victims and families who would like to learn more about their legal rights and the next steps to take. Contact us to speak with a member of our team during a free and confidential consultation.