Five People Missing in OK Gas Well Explosion


PITTSBURG COUNTY, Okla. — Five people were missing after an explosion and fire at a gas well in Pittsburg County, according to Emergency Manager Kevin Enloe.

The fire is west of Quinton, between that city and Featherston. 

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

The explosion took place a little before 9 a.m., sending flames shooting 50 feet in the air. 

The Pittsburg County sheriff said about two-dozen people were working on the rig when it exploded. Emergency crews accounted for 17 of them, with five still missing.

Video from Osage SkyNews 6 HD shows the heat from the fire eventually caused the derrick to collapse, and several fires were burning at the site. 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders are on the scene. The OHP said firefighters planned to bring nitroglycerin to the site which would apparently be used to try to blow the flames out.

During a news conference Monday, officials said firefighters are not battling the fire on location, but have crews set up around the area to fight any fires that pop up due to flames.

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

The images from Osage SkyNews 6 HD show the toppled derrick lying twisted on its side, with a pile of drilling pipe scattered along the side. Emergency crews could be seen staging well away from the fire. 

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

A person who owns land near the drilling site says the explosion killed cattle in the area. 

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