OSHA says open-flame heater caused gas rig fire that killed three Oklahoma workers

COALGATE, Okla. (AP) — Federal officials say an open-flame heater on the floor of an oil rig likely sparked a December fire that killed three and injured two in Coalgate.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration says this wasn’t the first time the company that owns the rig was cited for using a heater on an oil rig floor, the McAlester News-Capital reports.

Records indicate that the company, Dan D Drilling, was cited in June 2013 for allowing the use of an open-flame heater on one of its rigs. Dan D Drilling received 10 OSHA violations and faces penalties.

The company’s been placed on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. “which concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations …”

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