Three injured in gas well fire, explosion
August 17, 2012 ·
Authorities say three people have been injured in a gas well fire and explosion in Harrison County. The flames are out and there's no danger to the public.
West Virginia Public Radio has learned three people were injured in the incident, which occurred in the Sycamore area, at the Cottrill #3 well.
Antero Resources from Denver is the operator of the well, and Hall Drilling, of Ellenboro, West Virginia was contracted to do the gas drilling there.
The Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the incident.
Spokesman Tom Aluise discusses what happened.
"They were about 400 feet down into the hole with the drill, and as they were bringing the drill back up out of the hole, there was some event, and we’re not sure exactly what happened, but some event sparked some methane gas, as they were bringing the drill back out of the hole. The methane gas ignited into a flash fire," he said. "The fire burned for approximately one hour before it was extinguished.”
Aluise says the operation was voluntarily shut down by Antero, and there’s no imminent danger there now.
He says there could be violations issued after more details come to light.
"They will do their own investigation into what they think happened, and why, and what they plan to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and we will review all of that documentation, and then if there is a need for us to issue a violation, we will do that,” Aluise said.
An Antero Resources spokesman tells West Virginia Public Radio two of the injured were taken to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Their names aren’t being released at this time.
The spokesman also says the third person has been released from another hospital, in Clarksburg.