QUINTON--Five people are missing after a fiery explosion ripped through an eastern Oklahoma drilling rig Monday morning, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and leaving a derrick crumpled on the ground, an emergency official said.
The names of the missing were released on Tuesday in a news conference .
BREAKING | Names released of those unaccounted for after explosion in Quinton:
Josh Ray- Fort Worth, TX
Matt Smith- McAlester, Okla.
Cody Risk- Wellington, Colo.
Parker Waldridge- Crescent, Okla.
Roger Cunningham- Seminole, Okla. https://t.co/mqv0xkO6wB
— 2 Works for You (@KJRH2HD) January 23, 2018
The explosion happened about 8:45am on West Bascum Road in northeastern Pittsburg County.
Aerial footage from midday Monday showed several fires still burning at the site and the derrick, a towering metal structure above the well, collapsed onto the ground.
Watch the second ews conference from Monday here .
The first news conference on Monday confirmed initial information.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin issued a statement on Tuesday:
“My prayers go out to the families of those impacted by the gas well explosion in Pittsburg County,” said Mullin. “Thank you to the Quinton community for stepping up and volunteering in many different ways to help the individuals and families that were impacted. I also want to thank the emergency responders and members of law enforcement who rushed to the scene yesterday for their courage, bravery, and continued support. We will be lending our office’s full support and stand ready to help in any way possible.”
Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain says that she couldn't immediately confirm any injuries or fatalities.
Cain said state environmental and regulatory officials have been notified and were heading to the scene. A local emergency dispatcher said the sheriff, undersheriff and county emergency management director are all on the scene.
The drilling site was being operated by Oklahoma City-based Red Mountain Energy, said Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas operators. Telephone and email messages left with Red Mountain were not immediately returned.
Skinner said a company that specializes in rig fires and other well control problems also responded to the blaze.
Officials tell us that 16 workers evacuated; one person was airlifted from the scene to a hospital.
Officials tell us the explosion happened in a wooded area.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission confirms "Red Mountain Energy LLC" out of OKC is the operator at this site.
The company confirms this was a drilling rig, however, they are not sure what they were drilling for.
To OCC knowledge, they do not believe the OCC has handled anything with this company before.
OCC has two people out on the scene dealing with this from an environmental standpoint.
State Emergency Management says they have contacted the DEQ and the Corporation Commission because of the type of incident.
Patterson-UTI sent a statement to 2 Works For You on Monday afternoon:
Patterson-UTI confirms that we are responding to a fire at one of our drilling rigs in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. We have received reports that some of our employees and others are unaccounted for at this time. Our top priority is the safety of our employees and any others who may be affected. We’ve activated our emergency response systems and are fully cooperating with first responders and authorities on the scene. We will provide more details as they are known.
Officials say that nitrous oxide is leaking.
2 Works For You has a crew on the way to the scene and will bring you the latest information as we learn it.
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