GRDA Officials: 2 Workers Dead After Explosion At Kerr Dam

Friday, May 14th 2021, 12:11 pm
By: News On 6, Jordan Tidwell

MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Grand River Dam Authority officials have confirmed that two workers, who were trapped by debris after an explosion at the Kerr Dam, have died.

According to the GRDA, crews recovered the bodies of two men who had been trapped inside of the Kerr Dam around 4:30 a.m. on Friday.

The GRDA has not yet identified the individuals, however, officials say the men were both contractors. GRDA officials said that no GRDA employees were involved in the incident.

The three men who were initially involved in the accident worked for DA Smith Drilling based out of Colorado. The men had been addressing a scouring issue in the dam, an issue that stems from flooding over the years.

According to a GRDA official, the men were aware that natural gasses were present in the dam at the time of the explosion.

Officials said that the cause of the explosion is still unknown

According to officials, a full investigation into the incident is now underway.

The announcement was made around 6:30 a.m. on Friday

This is a breaking news update. The original story is below.


Rescue efforts are underway at Kerr Dam on Lake Hudson to rescue two men who are trapped inside the dam after an explosion.

GRDA said, from the top of the dam, the two men are more than 80 feet down.

GRDA said it happened just before 6 p.m. Thursday when 3 contractors were addressing a scouring issue in the dam. They said while they were working, some kind of explosion happened and trapped two men. They said one man was able to get out but two remain trapped.

Justin Alberty with GRDA said they are working on a plan to get in and rescue the men. They tell News On 6 they're not able to get to the men through the top of the dam due to the explosion, but they are working to get to them another way. Officials said they are trying to go through an inspection galley on the side of dam.

GRDA has confirmed there are no structural issues with the dam and they will not be releasing any water.

"As far as another explosion or structural problems, we don't feel that there are. We feel that the scene is stable. We don't know their conditions fully but we feel that the scene is stable," Alberty said.

They are still working to determine the cause of the explosion.

The contractor who was able to get out after the explosion is being checked out at a local hospital.

Rescue crews and swift water rescue teams from GRDA and surrounding towns and counties are on scene.

SkyNews6 is on the scene and captured video of crews working to rescue the men.

This is a developing story. News On 6 has crews on the way.