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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Whitesville Gas Workers Injured In West Virginia Gas Well Explosion

Burning questions at gas well
The flames shooting skyward in West Virginia left firefighters and operators of the Marcellus shale operation groping for answers

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. -- When volunteer firefighters arrived early Monday at a gas-well explosion that sent flames soaring 60 feet skyward, they had no idea what challenges they faced.

They had never been trained to fight gas-well fires, and the company in charge, Chief Oil & Gas LLC, never instructed them how best to fight a fire fed by methane or natural gas.

During their rush to the remote site off Beam's Lane, four miles east of Moundsville, just off Route 250, they had only their wits and experience in general firefighting to guide them.

"We were going into something at 1:20 a.m., but we didn't know what we were going into," said Danny Holmes, chief of the Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department, one of 20 to respond.

Adding to the uncertainty, firefighters arrived to find a ball of flames piercing the night sky but could find no victims or company employees anywhere on the site.

Seven workers from BJ Tubular Services, of Houston, and Union Drilling Inc., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, were working on the well when it exploded sometime after 1 a.m. Two of the injured workers were employed by BJ Tubular and five by Union Drilling, said Kathy Cosco, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. More...

WIVB-TV reports 7 workers burned including Andrew Billings and Brian Cavanaugh from Whitesville, NY.


Anonymous said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

thoughts and prayers to all on this rig, and their families.