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Cause of Deadly Oklahoma Rig Fire Pinpointed

In December of 2014, three workers were killed and two others were injured when an oil rig in Coalgate, Oklahoma exploded. After a thorough investigation into the cause of the explosion, officials from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released a report last week that cited an open-flame space heater as the likely cause of the fire. The report notes that a space heater sitting on the floor likely sparked the oil-based mud that was being used on the rig.

Drilling Company Is Repeat Safety Violator

Because of the obvious fire risk, employees are forbid from using open-flame heaters around flammable materials. However, this was not the first time that the owner of the rig, Dan D Drilling, had been cited for such an offense. It was also written a citation for the same safety violation in June of 2013.

10 Citations Issued in Most Recent Explosion

After OSHA's investigation into the December explosion, the organization issued ten total citations to Dan D Drilling. Those citations could potentially amount to $221,200 in penalties. OSHA also placed the drilling company on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Companies placed on that program are subject to addition scrutiny and more frequent workplace inspections to ensure that all federal safety guidelines are being met.

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