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Two workers injured in fire at North Dakota drilling rig

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fire that occurred at a drilling rig Saturday in McKenzie County that caused minor burns to two employees.

McKenzie County Emergency Manager Karolin Jappe said the incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at a Continental Resources well site between Keene and New Town.

Scott Overson, acting area director for the Bismarck OSHA Office, said the employees were treated and released at a local hospital for burns to their hands.

One worked for Nabors, a drilling contractor, and the other was a Continental Resources representative on site, according to information provided to OSHA.

Keene Fire Chief John Rolfsrud said the fire occurred after gas went into an open tank for drilling mud and ignited. Fire crews from Keene and New Town used foam to extinguish the fire.

The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division has been on site and is also investigating. The agency characterized the incident as an explosion. 

Media representatives for Continental Resources and Nabors were not available for comment on Monday.

(Reach Amy Dalrymple at 701-250-8267 or


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