The Oklahoma rig explosion that occurred Monday is now thought to have ended in fatalities. The five men who were presumed missing are now presumed to have passed in the rig explosion.
A Pittsburg County Sheriff has stated that the mission in regards to these men has turned from “rescue to recovery.” The site is reportedly still hot from the fires that burned until last night. A recovery team is waiting for the situation to completely stabilize before searching the explosion area for the deceased. This announcement has been made after a full day of searching the surrounding woods for survivors.
The explosion had occurred Monday morning at 9 a.m. at a Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. rig, a Houston-owned company that employed many from the surrounding area. In fact, of the five men presumed to have been killed by the explosion, three of them were from Oklahoma, one was from Texas, and the other was from Colorado. Three of these men were employees of the Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. The CEO has said that a full investigation into the cause of the explosion will begin shortly.
More than 20 people were on the scene of the rig when the explosion occurred. 16 people were able to escape the blast without any major injuries, but 1 person, in addition to the deceased, received major wounds that required medivac by airlift.
While acknowledging safety incidents in the past, the Patterson-UTI Chief Executive says that the company is ranked among the safest of all drilling companies in recent years. “Our focus right now is supporting the families,” he said. “This has been a terrible tragedy and a terrible loss.”