Photo via the Grand Forks Herald

An oil drilling rig exploded and caught fire in McKenzie County, North Dakota Tuesday, burning a worker.

Authorities responded to a report of a rig explosion at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday at a Nabors Drilling rig on a Whiting Petroleum location, according to the  McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office.

The injured worker was identified as Brian Busby.

He suffered burns to his hands and head that were not life-threatening, the sheriff’s office said.

Busby was transported to the McKenzie County Hospital in Watford City for treatment, the Jamestown Sun said.

Fire crews were able to apply foam to put the fire out.

The initial cause of the fire is believed to be a pressure build-up that caused material to escape and ignite, the sheriff’s office told the Jamestown Sun.

No releases of crude oil or other liquids were reported due to the fire, a state spokesperson told the Grand Forks Herald.

Crews were drilling at about 15,000 feet at the time of the fire.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is sending a team to investigate the incident, according to Eric Brooks, area director for the Bismarck (North Dakota) office.

An inspector from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources is visiting the site, which is about 17 miles northeast of Watford City, according to reports.


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