Five missing in Pittsburg County gas well explosion

The Associated Press - January 22, 2018 10:14 am


QUINTON, Okla. (AP) – The local sheriff says more than 20 employees were on site when a drilling rig exploded in eastern Oklahoma, and five remain unaccounted for.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris tells the McAlester News-Capital that “most everybody” was taken off the site to a safe location following the explosion Monday morning.

The fire continues to burn near Quinton, about 100 miles southeast of Tulsa.

Morris says he can’t confirm any injuries or fatalities from the blast. He says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

A spokeswoman says the Oklahoma medical examiner’s office wouldn’t be able to confirm any fatalities until the fire is extinguished and investigators can get to the scene of the explosion.

Pittsburg County Emergency Manager Kevin Enloe said five people are missing in a gas well explosion.

The fire is between Quinton and Featherston. Volunteers firefighters are on scene.

At least three medical helicopters have landed at the site, Enloe said.

The explosion occurred west of the town of Quinton, about 100 miles southeast of Tulsa.

Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain tells The Associated Press that it wasn’t immediately clear if there were any injuries or fatalities.

Cain says state environmental and regulatory officials have been notified and are heading to the scene. A local emergency dispatcher says the sheriff, undersheriff and county emergency management director are all on the scene.


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