Open-flame Heater Likely Cause of Coalgate Oil Rig Fire

Source: suwatpo - 123RF

Coalgate, OK – OSHA has determined that an open-flame heater on the floor of a rig likely sparked the fire that killed three natural gas drillers and seriously injured two others in a December 2014 drilling rig fire.

Two co-workers suffered serious injuries. One sustained extensive burns to his hands and arms caused by his attempt to assist an injured colleague. He spent a brief time in the hospital. The second man also suffered extensive burns and remained hospitalized until early March.

Based in Lamont, Dan D Drilling received two willful, seven serious and one repeated OSHA violation. The willful violations were for using an open-flame heater on the rig floor that exposed six workers to fire hazards and for failing to provide and ensure that employees were wearing flame-resistant clothing.

The company which provides drilling services to the petroleum industry, employs about 270 workers. It has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Oklahoma City, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.