Lawsuit: Gas company knew rig was unsafe before explosion

QUINTON, Okla. (AP) — The family of one of five workers who were killed in an Oklahoma gas well explosion in January says the drilling company didn’t act upon multiple warnings that its safety equipment was in disrepair.

Parker Waldridge’s family alleges in a Dec. 4 amendment to their wrongful death lawsuit that a “cascade of errors and multiple departures from safe drilling practices” by drilling company Patterson-UTI Drilling led to the blowout near Quinton in January .

The lawsuit alleges that at least two days before the explosion, the rig superintendent, manager and several other Patterson employees received email results of a laboratory test warning of problems with the rig’s accumulator. It says the warnings even came with a “skull and crossbones graphic (literally).”

The Tulsa World reports that the families of each dead worker and a worker who was badly injured have filed lawsuits over the explosion.

Patterson and Red Mountain Energy, the well’s owner that hired it, issued statements blaming each other.

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