Friday, July 23, 2010

Gas Well Explosion Update

After two men were killed in a gas well explosion this morning, Allegheny County emergency crews continue to fight the resulting fire at the Indiana Township well.

The blast occurred at a Huntley & Huntley natural gas well at about 9:50 this morning. The two workers killed in the accident are believed to have been welding at the time of the explosion.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Helen Humphreys says DEP is on-site, trying to determine the best way to "shut the well in." Humphreys says the lines connected to the well have now been shut down in order to isolate the rig.

Humphreys says while the blast fortunately happened in a wooded area with few structures nearby, it's still a dangerous situation. She says the greatest concern at this point is the fire. Crews can't tell yet if gas is leaking from the site as well as burning.

Humphreys says the 3,500-foot-deep well was completed two years ago, so whatever work the crews were doing was unrelated to drilling. She says DEP has not found any safety violations from Huntley & Huntley, who Humphreys says own several wells in the area.

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