McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

July 12, 2013

Cellphone outage sourced to McAlester chemical plant

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Thousands of people were affected by an cellular outage Thursday that happened at a McAlester chemical plant.

Yesterdays telephone outage was caused by a soil testing contractor at a McAlester chemical plant, officials say.

Thousands of people were without telephone cellphone and internet access yesterday for hours after a contractor working at Tony's Gas and Chemical House in McAlester cut into a fiber optic wire while testing soil, according to Bob at Tony's Gas and Chemical House. Bob declined to give his last name but he confirmed the accident which affected Latimer Pittsburg and McIntosh counties happend because the area was not properly marked by AT&T.

Bob said a contractor testing the soil for chemicals around the chemical plant cut the line because the ground was not properly marked by AT&T when the fiber-optic cable was installed.

Emergency Management Director Trent Myers and Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns confirmed the accident occured at the chemical plant on Washington Avenue.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.