Agency: Safeguards failed in fire that killed 5 at gas well

A federal report says an explosion and fire that killed five workers at an Oklahoma natural gas well last year was caused by the failure of blowout prevention devices and other factors, including inadequate training and an ineffective safety management system.

The report was released Wednesday by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. It says controls designed to prevent the uncontrolled release of gas and other fluids from the well were not effective, leading to the Jan. 22, 2018, explosion and fire near Quinton, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City.

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Among other things, the 158-page report says some operations at the Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. drilling site were conducted “without needed planning, equipment, skills, or procedures,” nullifying the primary barrier designed to prevent a blowout.

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