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5 missing after natural gas well catches fire in Oklahoma

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:24 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:24 AM

VIDEO: 5 Missing After Oklahoma Natural Gas Well Catches Fire

Five workers remained missing Tuesday after a natural gas well exploded and caught fire in Oklahoma one day earlier, sending out a smoke plume that could be seen for miles.

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Officials said 16 other employees were able to get out of the area safely. One person was flown to a Tulsa hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.

Emergency officials let the fire burn itself out and fought any flames that went beyond a perimeter they established. 

Pittsburg County officials said they moved the mission from rescue to recovery on Tuesday. When the scene cools, the medical examiner will check the scene.

The missing individuals were identified Friday, including:

  • Josh Ray, of Fort Worth, Texas
  • Matt Smith, of McAlester, Oklahoma
  • Cody Risk, of Wellington, Colorado
  • Parker Waldridge, of Crescent, Oklahoma
  • Roger Cunningham, of Seminole, Oklahoma

Ray, Smith and Risk worked for oil drilling company Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., which owns the well.

The company’s CEO, Andy Hendricks, said at a news conference that Patterson-UTI is supporting the families of the missing employees and working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the agency investigates.

Workers will retain their jobs despite the loss of their job site, according to Patterson-UTI officials.

Authorities said the public was safe from contaminates and that there was no need for evacuations. 

Pittsburg County emergency managers and the county sheriff confirmed around 9 a.m. local time that an explosion and fire took place at a well in Quinton.

The well is owned by oil drilling company Patterson-UTI Energy Inc., employees confirmed. In a statement, company officials said they were unaware of what caused the fire.

“We have received reports that some of our employees and others are unaccounted for at this time,” the statement said. “Our top priority is the safety of our employees and any others who may be affected. We've activated our emergency response systems and are fully cooperating with first responders and authorities on the scene. We will provide more details as they are known.”

The company's president and CEO, Andy Hendricks, later released a separate statement:

All of us at Patterson-UTI are deeply saddened by the news of the incident in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, this morning. Our hearts go out to the families of the five missing individuals, three of whom are Patterson-UTI employees. We've reached out to their families and are providing support during this difficult time.

At this moment, no one knows with certainty what happened, and it would be unwise to speculate. Well control experts and emergency responders are on site and we will conduct a thorough investigation when the incident is fully contained. We will provide updates as more facts are known.

There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our employees and others we partner with in the field. Tonight, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected and their loved ones.

Red Mountain Energy was operating the well.

FOX23 storm chasers in the area spotted the smoke plume from the fire miles away.

Grief counselors and religious leaders were offering support to families and workers on Monday. The American Red Cross was also working to help first responders as they worked to contain the fire.

Fire crews also searched woods for anyone that may have run from the scene, but they didn’t find anyone. Searches are expected to resume once the area cools down.

The drilling company has reportedly notified the families of the five missing people.

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Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 1:20 PM

Feds Say 1,500 Immigrant Children Missing, They’re Not Responsible

The federal government has admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of almost 1,500 immigrant children in its custody, according to news reports.

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The Office of Refugee Resettlement took in some 40,000 immigrant children in 2017 and when the agency reached out to check on more than 7,000 of them between October and December of 2017, 1,475 were unaccounted for at the end of the year, CNN reported.

The news came as the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, threatening to separate more children from their families if the families are caught entering the United States illegally, in a new policy move.

In testimony before Congress earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said the children of illegal immigrants are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services within 48 hours after they are taken into custody, and DHHS officials then find sponsored homes for them, USA Today reported.

Nielsen said separations like this happen in the U.S. every day.

Top DHHS official Steven Wagner testified before a Congressional subcommittee last month during a hearing on the Office of Refugee Resettlement that the ORR was “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children,” and that 28 more had run away, CNN reported.

“I understand that it has been HHS’ long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for the children after they are released from ORR care,” Wagner said. 

>> Related: Woman arrested for stealing a salad now facing deportation

Wagner also said DHHS is “taking a fresh look at that question,” according to CNN, but he also said ORR would need a lot more money if the office is expected to be legally responsible for unaccompanied immigrant children.

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Dog abandoned with ‘free,’ ‘good home only’ written on it in permanent marker

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:05 AM

A dog abandoned in a park in Ohio had the words ‘free’ and ‘good home only’ written on it in permanent marker. The Ross County Humane Society now has the dog and is putting her up for adoption.
Pixabay
A dog abandoned in a park in Ohio had the words ‘free’ and ‘good home only’ written on it in permanent marker. The Ross County Humane Society now has the dog and is putting her up for adoption.(Pixabay)

A young dog found abandoned in a park in Ross County, Ohio, had the words “free” and “good home only” written on it in permanent marker, according to a post on social media.

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“I usually try to contain myself with my work life and what I see every single day, but this just tops it off!” Brittany May with the Ross County Humane Society said in a post on Facebook.

Whoever did this has “reached a whole new level of LOW,” May wrote.

“How are you going to dump your dog, and write FREE all over it in permanent marker! I just don’t get it!” she said

The good news is the five to six month-old female, Labrador-mix, named Marvella by the agency, will soon have a new home, May told WSYX-TV. The dog is now up for adoption.

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Former President George H.W. Bush back in the hospital in Maine with low blood pressure

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 2:28 PM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush is back in the hospital, according to a family spokesman.

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Bush was taken to Southern Maine Health Care Sunday “after experiencing low blood pressure and fatigue,” his spokesman Jim McGrath said on Twitter.

The former president is described as “awake and alert” and will probably remain hospitalized for a few days for observation, McGrath said.


Bush was most recently hospitalized in Houston on April 22, one day after the funeral and burial of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

During that hospital stay, he was diagnosed with an infection that had spread to his blood, doctors said at the time, but he recovered and eventually went home.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush remains hospitalized; doctors 'very pleased' with progress, spokesman says

At the time he said he was looking forward to visiting the family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush was out and about Saturday, marking the Memorial Day holiday, joining a group of veterans at American Legion Post 159 for a pancake breakfast in Kennebunkport.

“Delighted to join the veterans, including my dear friend Gen. Brent Scowcroft,” Bush tweeted.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush: 9 things to know about the 41st president of the United States

Scowcroft was National Security Adviser during the presidencies of both Bush and Gerald Ford.

“This weekend we remember, and thank, all who have given their lives for our great country,” he said Saturday.

George Bush has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around. 

He was the youngest naval aviator when he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943, spurred by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He flew 58 combat missions during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery.

>> Related: PHOTOS: George H. W. Bush through the years

He had six children with Barbara Bush, and in 1989, he became the first sitting vice president to secure the presidency since 1837.

Former United States President George H. W. Bush prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.(Pool/Getty Images)

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Younger white and Hispanic women more likely to get lung cancer than men, study finds

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 11:55 AM

Younger white and Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer now than theri male counterparts, a new study finds.
Pixabay
Younger white and Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer now than theri male counterparts, a new study finds.(Pixabay)

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, with an estimated 154,050 deaths projected for 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unfortunately, some groups are more likely to be diagnosed than others.

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Researchers from the NCH and American Cancer Society recently conducted a study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, to find out. 

For the assessment, they examined lung cancer data of adults aged 30 to 54 from 1995 to 2014. They gathered information on sex, race or ethnic group, age, year of diagnosis and year of birth.

While previous research revealed men were more likely to be diagnosed, the new data suggests otherwise.

>> Related: High-risk smokers aren’t getting tested for lung cancer, study suggests

Overall, men were still more likely than women to have lung cancer when all races and ages were combined, but researchers noticed new patterns after closely assessing the different age and race groups.

Younger white and Hispanic women born since 1965 are now more likely to have lung cancer than white and Hispanic men, the researchers found. 

For example, incidence rates for white women surpassed white men in nearly every age group examined. Rates of lung cancer among white women aged 40 to 44 went from 12 percent lower than men during the 1995-1999 period to 17 percent higher during the 2010-2014 period.

>> Related: Immune therapy plus chemo doubles lung cancer survival, study says

For black and Asian groups, the women rates inched closer to those of the men but did not exceed them.

In a statement, researchers said they were surprised by the results. While they are still exploring why the switch has occurred, they noted smoking patterns did not explain the change. 

“While prevalence of smoking among men and women has converged over the past several decades, smoking prevalence among women has still generally not exceeded that of men,” lead author Ahmedin Jemal said. “We do not believe sex differences in smoking behavior explain our finding of a gender crossover.”

>> Related: This new cancer 'vaccine' completely wipes out tumors in mice — and human trials are on the way

On the other hand, they do believe women more than men may be more susceptible to the health hazards of cigarette smoking. They explained that women may also be more likely to get lung cancer even after they quit smoking, but more research needs to be done. 

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