An Oklahoma well operating company said claims made against them by attorneys for victims of the Quinton gas well explosion are unfounded. Five men were killed on January 22, 2018, when mud and gas blew up from the well and ignited.
In an amended lawsuit filed last week in Pittsburg County, attorneys for the victims' estates accused Red Mountain Energy of cost-cutting measures that led to the deaths of Matt Smith, 29, of McAlester; Parker Waldridge, 60, of Crescent; Roger Cunningham, 55, of Seminole; Cody Risk, 26, of Wellington, Colorado and Josh Ray, 35, of Fort Worth.
Red Mountain President Tony Say said the lawsuit contained many false allegations and unproven assertions.
"We will respond specifically and in detail at the proper time in a legal venue," Say said in a news release Tuesday, October 16.
"For now, we categorically deny any claim our company put profits over people. Safe, responsible operations are the top priority at every Red Mountain well, and our deepest sympathies go out to those affected by this tragedy."
Say said the lawsuit demonstrates a "basic lack of understanding of wellsite operations, especially its contention Red Mountain dictated mud weights and the purpose of flaring."
Say said on-site personnel had a range of options they could use to perform their duties.
"This incident was the result of negligence by personnel from other companies who were responsible for maintaining control of the well in all circumstances."
He said he is confident the company will be exonerated during the legal process.