5 Workers Are Missing After An Explosion At Oklahoma Drilling Rig : The Two-Way One worker was taken to a hospital and 16 others made it out of the area safely. The fire was put out Monday night but rescue workers can't search for the missing until the site cools down.
NPR logo 5 Workers Are Missing After An Explosion At Oklahoma Drilling Rig

5 Workers Are Missing After An Explosion At Oklahoma Drilling Rig

Five oil field workers are missing after an explosion and fire Monday at a natural gas drilling site in southeastern Oklahoma.

Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

"The explosion buckled the drilling rig operating near a small town 100 miles south of Tulsa and fueled a smoke plume that was visible for miles.

In a statement, the company operating the drilling rig said it wasn't sure what caused the explosion and fire.

One burned worker was taken to a hospital by helicopter. Sixteen other workers made it off the rig safely."

Workers were "pretty shook up," Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris told journalists at a news conference. "It's a pretty dramatic deal to go through."

The county's Emergency Manager Kevin Enloe said first responders searched the surrounding area for the missing workers, but haven't been able to get within a hundred feet of the well fire.

A statement released Monday night by emergency management said the fire is out.

Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma medical examiner's office tells The Associated Press:

"Confirmation of any fatalities wasn't expected to be possible until the fire was extinguished and investigators could get to the scene of the explosion. I pray there's not, but we just don't know yet," Elliott said."

The drilling rig belonged to Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy. Red Mountain Energy was operating the site.

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