Probe To Begin In Avella Gas Well Fire

AVELLA (KDKA) — Three workers are hospitalized following a natural gas well fire in Washington County that sent flames shooting into the air last night.

The explosion happened shortly before 6:30 p.m. in Avella at a well owned by Chesapeake Appalachia.

Some neighbors said the blast sounded like a large plane had crashed nearby.

The fire is believed to have started in fluid tanks that are used in the Marcellus shale fracking process.

“It was natural gas liquids in a storage tank,” Chesapeake Appalachia spokesperson Stacey Brodak told KDKA late Wednesday. “It’s a natural substance that comes up out of the ground. It’s collected in the tanks, separated from the gas stream, but I don’t have any addition information in regards to that.”

Brodak says the investigation will begin right away. “An investigation will begin immediately and that may take a little while to get the results of that, but obviously from that point, we’ll just review.”

In the meantime, though, Brodak says there was no danger to the public.

“The wells were shut in, there was no need for concern,” Brodak added. “We had stated that earlier in our first statement that everything was under control, wells were shut in and there was no imminent danger to any area residents.”

The injured workers were taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital.

At this point, officials are not releasing information on their names or the extent of their injuries.

DEP Set To Investigate After Gas Well Fire In Avella (2/23)
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Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC


One Comment

  1. Lookout says:

    This is scary! Even more frightening is the FACT that the drilling requires the use of hundreds of dangerous chemicals that are pumped into the ground with water. The chemicals can pollute ground water but the waste water recovered is often dumped into streams killing the fish and the stream.

    Water sources, once polluted, cannot be made clean again. Rivers and streams rendered lifelss by these chemicals will take decades to revive. Pennsylvania doesn’t even levy taxes on these companies!

    Corporations don’t care about your environment and these in particular are located outside Pennsylvania. They bring in their own workers–not the job boon we are led to believe. Corporations care about their own bottom line and don’t care about the damage they cause on the way to their profits.

    1. gas dude says:

      Your posting couldn’t be farthur from being accurate. The recovered fracking liquids are processed and are not dumped back into the streams as polluted water. This accident was not due to any fracking process. Actually, companies due care more than the bottom line. The installation of wells and natural gas pipelines are installed under strict procedural codes.

      1. Gas dude, you are wrong, they passed to allow them to dump directly into the rivers. and zetaflow is a compounding of chemicals known only to Halliburton. And the regulations are not strictly enforced. So get it right. Google it and sift through and find the truth. Its not on range resources site.

      2. Mike c says:

        Better yet ask on of te men actually doing the job instead of filling your mind full of BS off the internet…..If you are concerned about the streams contact the DEP and ask if chemicals are dumped into streams. Gas Dude you are indeed correct as I work with the DEP on a daily basis.

    2. mike c says:

      Get educated befor you speak. No waste water is ever “Dumped” into a stream. No frac water ever reaches drinking water because the are protected by three layers of steel casing and cement. I am also native to the state in which this industry operates and thanks to them I and hundreds of HARD working men just like me provide for our families. What do you do for a living???

  2. Burkean says:

    NGL’s (natural gas liquids) are not used in fracking. Essentially, they are liquids that are produced along with the gas and are valuable in their own right. Folks in the Marcellus need to overcome their obsession with fracking – it’s a red herring. If there are problems, they probably come from poor cement jobs or other practices up the hole (at shallower depths).

    There is not one instance where fracking has been shown to pollute drinking water in the ground. This accident, it appears, had nothing to do with drilling operations whatsoever, but rather with tanks where NGL’s were being stored. Chesapeake may be subject to criticism, but get the facts right please.

  3. Lookout says:

    And have you not seen “Gaslands”? Looks at the videos of tap water on fire and tell me there are no instances of pollution.

    1. Even though I am for stronger regulations on the gas companies, Gasland is not a good arguement. It leaves a lot out.

  4. Joanne says:

    P:ennsylvania has thousands of old mine shafts under our cities and our homes. The fracking is done by explosives underground and pounding to release the gas.What would stop these old shafts from caving in causing damages to the surface. When our homes foundations show cracks and we have sink holes appear,what will it take to prove where the fault lies. We have raped the earth before and we have paid for it. This will be no different. They will leave us with the consequinces

    1. Joanne, I am facing that right now here in Avella. They are getting ready to go through a old mind that effects me and my home. I cant stop it because my neighbor sold out and they will pull the gas out from under my property.

  5. Burkean says:

    Lookout, sorry but “Gasland” is a joke. The general counsel of the Envronmental Defense Fund said as much last week. It illustrates my point – let’s get the facts so there can be an intelligent discussion of the issues.

    For example,when methane is found in tap water, the culprit is often coal-bed methane that has migrated over. Other times, the methane comes from naturally-occurring algae in the source acquifer. Frankly, there are parts of the country where the drinking water has contained methane for decades. “Gasland” is pure sensationalism.

  6. LGM says:

    To all
    No one can argue or debate the fact that drilling operations bring risks – as evidenced time and time again with these explosions, fires, “Natural liquid issues”. All of which strengthens the point of most people who want a safe environment for their families and children – which is “THESE OPERATIONS DO NOT BELONG MIXED IN OR CLOSE TO RESIDENTIAL AREAS, SCHOOLS, ETC.!!” Which one of you – Stacey Broderak – can honestly and respectfully say that this risk is ok to take 1500 feet away from a home/school?? Come on everyone – you all need to speak up and let our legislators know that we are not crazy extremists and are not “anti drillers” but that it must be done responsibly, safely and there is enough land around that it doesn’t have to be near our homes and schools!! People need to speak up now – it is already almost too late. It is a shame what is happening to Pennsylvania.

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