OSHA cites 3 companies in Oklahoma drilling rig explosion

(CNN VAN photo)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations to three companies involved in a natural gas rig explosion in Oklahoma that killed five workers.

OSHA announced Monday that it's fined Patterson-UTI Drilling, Crescent Consulting LLC and Skyline Directional Drilling LLC a total of $118,000 for "exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards" in the Jan. 22 explosion near Quinton, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa.

An initial state regulator incident report indicates that the blast happened when an uncontrolled release of gas caught fire.

Patterson-UTI officials say they disagree with the findings and have filed a notice of contest.

A Crescent Consulting representative declined to comment. SkyLine officials didn't return requests for comment.

The families of the five men who died in the explosion have filed wrongful deaths lawsuits in Pittsburg County District Court.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)