The State Journal reports that a flash fire ignited several natural gas wells and liquid natural gas tanks and at Chesapeake Energy’s Joseph Powers Pad that is only a few miles from the West Virginia border earlier this week. Flames eventually spread to a frac pond site, and over twenty fire crews from Pennsylvania and West Virginia responded to the accident to put out the blaze. The blast wave was felt by residents in the nearby town of Avella, and the cause of the explosion is still unknown and is currently under investigation by authorities. Three employees were injured in the fires and two sustained injuries serious enough to require being airlifted to a hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment. All of the wells at the facility have been shut down and authorities now have the situation under control.
The dangers of fossil fuel production are well-known by the residents of West Virginia, and this latest explosion at a natural gas production facility is an unfortunate reminder of that fact. Despite the fact that workers in heavy industry know the risks of their profession, the companies and regulatory agencies have a responsibility to make the facilities as safe as possible. When explosions and accidents occur, many times malfunctioning equipment or inadequate safety measures are the cause. If you or someone you know was injured in such an accident, you should contact a West Virginia industrial accident attorney to get educated about your rights in the aftermath of such incidents Not every case is legally actionable, but speaking with an attorney is the only way to find out if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.