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Precision Drilling rig near Killdeer collapses

The site for Rig 565 near Killdeer was bustling with workers on Friday, two days after the rig's derrick collapsed.

Workers were busy Friday afternoon tearing down a rig that collapsed Wednesday northwest of Killdeer.

North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said there were no fatalities in the accident at Precision Drilling Rig 565. The rig was being operated by Hess Corporation.

"What we know is that there were no fatalities, but I don't have any information about any possible injuries," Helms said Friday afternoon. "They were drilling the final well on a six-well Hess pad when one of the legs collapsed."

The rig was apparently in the process of being moved within the pad when the collapse occurred.

Through U.S. Department of Labor spokesperson Scott Allen, OSHA's Bismarck office said nobody had been to the site as of Friday morning.

"Our OSHA office is in the midst of its initial investigation," Allen said. "All we can confirm at this point is that there was a rig accident in Dunn County."

Mineral resources department assistant director Bruce Hicks called the type of collapse that happened "rare" and added that it has been "a long time" since he's seen anything like it.

The derrick of a Nabors Drilling rig snapped at a site near Belfield late last year. The pad site sits adjacent to the Killdeer Mountains Wildlife Management Area.

An individual reached Friday at the contact number listed on Precision's website declined comment and said no one in the corporation's office would be available until next week.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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