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Quinton Resident Recalls Rig Explosion

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Five men were killed when a gas rig exploded southwest of Quinton. Five men were killed when a gas rig exploded southwest of Quinton.
QUINTON, Oklahoma -

With the five victims now recovered and identified, the investigation turns to "what happened?"

Quinton is a very small town so it didn't take long for the news about the explosion to spread. Now, the community is working together to stay strong for the families after this tragic event.

“During the day, you can't see it at all, but at night, you can usually see the tower lit up,” said Michele Finch.

Finch lives about a mile away from the drilling rig. She says it's usually a very quiet area but yesterday it was a much different story.

“We could hear sirens going up and down the road and helicopters flying over,” she recalled.

 Around 9 a.m., police cars and fire trucks raced back a gravel road to the scene after the initial explosion.

Related Story: Remains Of 5 Missing Men Located At Rig Explosion Site

"From what I was told, many of the survivors, there was a loud boom,” said Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris. “They saw fire and they ran. Everybody was trying to survive."

Neighbors say they didn't notice the first explosion as much, but the second one was the loudest.

“My daughter’s boyfriend and I were standing on the porch when we heard the second explosion,” said Finch. “It wasn't just really, really loud but you could hear it because the smoke seemed to be thinning a bit, and then after that, second explosion the smoke got really black again.”

She said she didn't know what to think when she found out what happened.

“I was terrified, just terrified, worried about the people over there and wondering if it was going to come this way,” said Finch.  

Experiencing a tragedy like this hit close to home for her.

“After experiencing a tragic loss here myself in this town, it just saddens my heart,” she said. “I pray for their peace and comfort, and it's going to be a long journey. 

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