One Injured In Pittsburg County Gas Well Explosion

Thursday, February 16th 2017, 1:54 pm

The fire is out now but gas is still leaking from one spot, so the oil company is working now to get that under control.

Pittsburg County emergency manager Kevin Enloe says a gas well exploded when a worker went to open a valve just after noon Thursday.

Enloe said the victim stopped, dropped and rolled before another worker ran over with an extinguisher.

That worker was able to stop the victim from burning and moved him to a safe spot away from the fire.

"I think he played a huge role as far as his actions to protect his coworker and to extinguish the fire. The burns could have certainly been a lot worse had he not been there to help his coworker," Enloe said. 

After the victim was moved, there were still wells on fire,  shooting flames as high as 10 feet at times.

Multiple fire agencies worked together with the Trinity, the oil company, to come up with a plan on the best way to attack the fire and ended up putting it out a few hours after the explosion.

No one else was injured, and an exact cause is under investigation. Officials said the well that exploded had been worked on Tuesday. Maintenance workers arrived after 5 p.m. Thursday and appeared to be working on the wells. 

Enloe said the fire burned the victim from the waist down, with the most severe burns below his knees.

He was flown to a Tulsa hospital and is expected to survive.

The Pittsburg County community is a small one, so many of the emergency responders know the victim.

"He's a good guy," Enloe said. "He's a family man. He actually used to work with the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office, so he's an upstanding citizen."