Here’s What Happened at the Patterson-UTI Rig Explosion in Oklahoma

An explosion occurred in a drilling rig in Oklahoma late January 2018 that created one of the country’s deadliest gas and oil incidents in years. The fatal incident killed five workers, and one of the victims was from Fort Worth, Texas. The rig is owned by Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy, which has become one of the nation’s biggest onshore drilling and hydraulic fracking companies. There’s speculation about how the explosion occurred and why it wasn’t properly controlled and prevented.

What Has Been Investigated About the Accident?

The incident is still being thoroughly investigated by Patterson-UTI and Red Mountain, a small Oklahoma energy producer that co-owns and operates the gas well. They are currently working with local authorities and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to properly inspect the scene and figure out what happened. Patterson-UTI has had a history of other minor accidents in the past, but the company’s chief executive has argued that the rig has ranked among the safest in recent years. More than 20 people were working at the well site when the explosion occurred early that Monday morning, just outside of Tulsa. Sixteen people were able to escape the explosion with minor injuries, while one person had to be airlifted to the hospital. The magnitude of the fire prevented investigators from getting to the scene quickly enough, which also brought a delay to the confirmation of fatalities. The fire was so overpowering that it wasn’t extinguished until later that night.

Rig workers that work on onshore oil rigs can file an injury claim if they have been injured on site. The attorneys at Stevenson & Murray specialize in drilling rig, ship and platform injuries, and can help defend you in your case if you were injured on site. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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