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Oklahoma City 25 articles

OSHA Fines Patterson-UTI for Deadly Oklahoma Gas Rig Explosion

Safety failures triggered a massive explosion at a Patterson-UTI drilling site in eastern Oklahoma earlier this year, causing five workers to die of severe burns and blast injuries. Now federal regulators have assessed penalties of more than $118,000 for UTI-Patterson and two other companies involved with the drilling site. The explosion and subsequent fire occurred Jan. 22 on a Patterson-UTI drilling rig near Quinton, Oklahoma. It was the largest and deadliest drilling blast to occur since BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The remains of the five workers who died in the explosion were ... Read More

Rogue Trucking Company Transported Explosives Without Qualifications, Compliance

Federal authorities have shut down a Tennessee trucking company after an unannounced roadside inspection found a truck haphazardly packed with unsecured explosives and multiple other violations that constituted an “imminent hazard to public safety.” On March 23, 2018, a truck operated by RC Stone & Farms of Crossville, Tennessee, was pulled over on Highway 28 in Sequatchie County and inspected by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. A Bomb with Wheels Among the cargo that THP authorities found piled dangerously in the bed of the pickup truck were numerous Class 1 explosives, including ammonium nitrate-fuel oil mixture, electric detonators, blasting caps, and detonating ... Read More

OK Supreme Court: Special Protections For Oil and Gas Industry Unconstitutional

Oklahoma oil and gas workers and their families recently welcomed news that the state’s highest court struck down a rule exempting oil and natural gas companies from being sued when their workers are injured or killed on the job. On Jan. 23, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found the part of the state’s workers compensation law giving oil and natural gas companies special immunity from the law was unconstitutional. The unanimous decision with one recusal resolves a lawsuit brought by the daughter of a worker who was killed in a well site accident in Crescent, Oklahoma, in 2013. David Chambers worked ... Read More

Oklahoma Gas Rig Explosion Kills Five

A massive natural gas rig explosion that killed five men and burned another in Eastern Oklahoma Monday, Jan. 22, was caused by an uncontrolled release of gas from a well during drilling operations, state regulators said. The accident – the deadliest drilling rig explosion to occur since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 – happened around 9 a.m. at a well site operated by Patterson-UTI in Pittsburgh County, Oklahoma. Of the 22 workers on the well site at the time of the rig explosion, 17 were able to escape. Five others on the rig were classified as missing until about ... Read More

Millions of U.S. Credit Cards Stolen in Sonic Data Breach

Sonic Corp., the Oklahoma City-based drive-in restaurant chain, confirmed its computer systems had been accessed by hackers, resulting in the potential theft of millions of customers’ credit and debit card numbers. The fast-food franchise said it was alerted to “unusual activity” on credit cards used at Sonic restaurants by the company that processes its credit card payments. “We are working to understand the nature and scope of this issue, as we know how important this is to our guests,” Sonic said in a statement, adding that it “immediately engaged third-party forensic experts and law enforcement” when it was alerted by ... Read More

Air Canada SFO Blunder Triggers New Aviation Rules

Federal aviation officials have implemented significant changes to landing and air traffic control procedures after an Air Canada flight nearly landed on a crowded San Francisco International Airport (SFO) taxiway in July. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) no longer allows aircraft landing at SFO at night to use a visual approach when an adjacent parallel runway is closed. This change was based on findings by FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators that runway lighting due to a closed runway contributed to the confusion of the Air Canada pilots. According to The Mercury News, Air Canada flight crews told ... Read More

North Dakota Oil Spill Pollutes Little Missouri River Tributary

An oil spill in western North Dakota released more than a thousand gallons of a crude oil and salt water mixture before it was discovered Saturday, April 22, polluting a tributary of the Little Missouri River. According to the Associated Press, the pipeline released an estimated 756 gallons of oil and 294 gallons of salt water, a drilling byproduct, contaminating a 14-mile stretch of Little Beaver Creek. North Dakota’s Department of Health estimated that about 100 gallons of that mixture entered the tributary. The owner of the pipeline, Continental Resources of Oklahoma City, said Wednesday, April 26, that the cause ... Read More

Retrievable IVC filter failure promps Lawsuit Against Rex Medical

An Oklahoma man has filed a lawsuit against Rex Medical alleging injuries related to the manufacturer’s inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, which was designed to be temporary but which doctors have been unable to remove. On Feb. 12, 2016, Ronald L. had an Option ELITE Retrievable IVC filter surgically inserted by doctors at Community Hospital in Oklahoma City. He had been admitted for hip surgery, and the filter was placed just in case he might form a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in the legs. The filter is designed catch blood clots before they reach the heart or lungs, resulting in pulmonary embolism. A DVT is ... Read More

Oklahoma Joins Federal Government in whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Kickbacks, False Claims

The state of Oklahoma has joined federal prosecutors in alleging that the Oklahoma-based Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) and its director Stephen Williamson accepted millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks from a company that formerly provided Oklahoma’s ambulance services. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint in a Texas federal court seeking to partially intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit against EMSA, a public trust that provides ambulance service to more than 1.1 million people in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas. The state alleges that EMSA and Mr. Williamson engaged in a kickback scheme regarding highly profitable ambulance services ... Read More

Oklahoma Truck Bed Plant Hit With Massive Fine For Unsafe working conditions

A worker’s complaint of unsafe working conditions at a well-known Oklahoma truck bed fabricator triggered a federal inspection of the plant that uncovered two dozen safety and health violations that put employees at risk of injury and death, federal regulators said. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that its inspection of Madill, Okla., based BigTex Trailer Manufacturing Inc., which does business as CM Trailers and CM Truck Beds, uncovered 20 serious safety violations, three repeat violations, and one willful violation. OSHA assessed fines of more than $535,000 for the violations. “CM Truck Beds has created an environment where ... Read More