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Fatal Oil Rig Blast: $52,000 Reward Offered for Information

A reward for information totaling $52,000 has been raised by Ron McPherson, owner of McPherson Drilling Co., and the family members of the men killed or injured in a June 2 Montgomery County, Kansas, oil rig explosion.

The reward will be paid for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of those responsible for the explosion.

The explosion at a McPherson Drilling Co. drilling site resulted in the deaths of two McPherson employees, Michael W. Holland, 29, of Altoona, Kan., and William M. Sanborn, 29, of Burlington, Kan. William W. Kobelt, 20, of Altoona, was injured.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office (KSFMO) and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) are jointly investigating the case.

The explosion was initially believed to be accidental, but evidence subsequently gathered at the scene indicated the explosion might have been the result of a criminal act. There are currently no indications that the explosion was an act of terrorism.

The group has established a Web site,

Anyone with information concerning the explosion should contact ATF at the Wichita Field Office, (316) 269-6229, or at the toll-free telephone number: (888) ATF-TIPS ([888] 283-8777).

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