May 3, 2018 — Autopsies show that the 5 men who died in a natural gas rig explosion near Quinton, Oklahoma, died of burns and smoke inhalation.
It was the deadliest oil and gas industry accident since the explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 people in 2010.
A lawsuit has been filed by the family of Cody Risk, 26, a man from Wellington who was one of the 5 workers who died in the explosion.
Mr. Risk was trapped in the Doghouse, a building located on the top of the gas rig. He burned to death because he was unable to escape, the lawsuit states. His family is seeking at least $10,000 in damages.
The explosion was caused by an uncontrolled release of natural gas during the drilling operation. Other workers attempted to use an emergency shut-off valve, but they were unable to stop the explosion.
The lawsuit accuses Red Mountain Energy of allowing for dangerous conditions, hazardous work at the well site, and failing to provide any training or safety policies connected to the operations at the well site.
Red Mountain’s company men had expired Well Control Certificates, and “failed to take necessary steps to control the well.”
Patterson-UTI Drilling Company LLC is also accused of gross negligence and failing to properly train the crew about the hazards.
At least 38 people have died in incidents involving Patterson-UTI from 1999-2004, according to a special investigative report by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy after a gas worker was killed in 2004.
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