Thursday, February 24, 2011
State officials say an explosion and fire at a Marcellus Shale gas well in Washington County sent three workers to the hospital. Emergency officials say the blast in Avella, Independence Township was reported shortly before 6:30 last night. Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Katy Gresh says workers were transferring water used in the hydraulic fracturing process into five tanks at the time of the blast. Several tanks caught fire and crews battled the blaze for hours. Two of the injured workers were taken to the hospital by helicopter and the other was taken by ambulance. Gresh says the three wells at the site appear unaffected and a spokesperson for Chesapeake Appalachia LLC Powers says there was no danger to the public.