5 people missing after drilling rig explosion in Pittsburg County

Quinton oil well catches fire

Quinton oil well catches fire

Five people are missing after a gas drilling rig exploded Monday morning between Quinton and Featherston, sending flames shooting 50 feet in the air.

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

Emergency manager Kevin Enloe says one person was injured and refused treatment at first, but was later taken to the hospital for burns.

Sheriff Morris says 24 people were working the rig when the explosion happened.

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.

They did not attempt to put out the fire directly to avoid spreading hazardous materials, Enloe said. The explosion reportedly occurred at an oil rig west of Quinton.

"It's going to be a long process", Enloe said.

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Enloe also says fire crews set up around the area near the rig, as the flames spread.

"It's a pretty dramatic deal to go through", he said.

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

Confirmation of any fatalities won't be possible until the fire is extinguished and investigators can get to the scene of the explosion, said Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma medical examiner's office. "We will provide more details as they are known". Telephone and email messages left by The Associated Press with Red Mountain were not immediately returned.

The rig was owned by Patterson-UTI, a provider of drilling services to North American oil and gas companies.

A primary explosion on one well head led to fires on three wells in last year's well incident, but Enloe said the two events had different circumstances.

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