Bodies of five workers recovered after oil well explosion in Oklahoma: sheriff

5 missing after oil well catches fire in Oklahoma

5 lacking after gasoline properly explosion in Oklahoma

"We have moved from rescue to recovery", Chris Moore, Pittsburg County (Okla.) sheriff, said Tuesday.

Smoke billows from the site of a gas well fire near Quinton, Okla., early Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. One person was hospitalized for burns. Morris said those presumed dead include Josh Ray, 35, of Fort Worth, TX; Matt Smith, 29, of McAlester, OK; Cody Risk, 26, of Wellington, CO; Parker Waldridge of Crescent, OK, and Roger Cunningham of Seminole, OK.

Morris says the five employees who were killed were in an area of the drilling rig known as the "dog house" where the rig hands worked.

Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy said they're investigating ways to prevent this type of explosion from happening in the future.

"We pulled everyone back out", he said.

More than 20 people were working at the site when the explosion occurred west of Quinton, about 100 miles southeast of Tulsa, authorities said.

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"I think you can imagine, they're not doing well", Morris said.

Andy Hendricks, Patterson-UTI President and CEO, said the company is focused on providing its employees with support and thanked the emergency responders.

It remains unclear what exactly happened or what caused the explosion.

Authorities said 16 people who were on the site at the time of the blast escaped without major injuries. The derrick, a towering metal structure above the well, also collapsed.

Federal agencies including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and U.S. Chemical Safety Board, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission have begun investigations.

Gas rig workers missing after fiery explosion in Oklahoma are found dead at the blast site.

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More than 20 workers were on site when the flames engulfed the rig. In Oklahoma, its exploration efforts are focused on liquids-rich targets with associated natural gas.

Officials said Monday afternoon the cause of the explosion is unknown.

"We have received reports that some of our employees and others are unaccounted for at this time", the statement said.

The explosion is the latest in a series of fatal accidents at Oklahoma oil and gas fields.

A spokeswoman says the Oklahoma medical examiner's office wouldn't be able to confirm any fatalities until the fire is extinguished and investigators can get to the scene of the explosion.

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