Five Hurt in KS Oil Rig Blast

Thursday, December 15, 2016 @ 03:12 PM gHale

Five people suffered injuries, two critically, in a gas explosion Monday morning at an oil-drilling site south of Sharon Springs, KS, in Wallace County, officials said.

Crews were adding pipe on a rig for the Murfin Drilling Company when the gas “migrated up” and got onto the deck floor of a warming hut, which includes running heaters, said Wallace County Fire Chief Jay Sharp.

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“They said they were changing the pipe out at a joint where they add-on to a point and had some gas leaking out of it. They were changing heads and getting ready to screw the other piece on when the explosion occurred,” Sharp said.

Something electric sparked and caused the explosion, Sharp said. He said the five hurt ended up hospitalized and the two with critical injuries were airlifted from a hospital in Tribune.

Sharp said responding crews were able to put the fire out quickly once they arrived.

Murfin Drilling has been cited seven times since 2006, including an incident involving a death near Great Bend in 2008, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).



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