Drilling Rig and Truck Accidents Continue in Northern West Virginia

by Duane Nichols on January 18, 2013

Wetzel Chronicle photo

Drilling rig worker dies in accident at Marion County preparation plant

From Associate Press report, January 14th

FAIRVIEW , WV — Federal regulators said Tuesday the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has jurisdiction over a fatal accident involving a gas-drilling rig at a coal mine prep plant.

An unidentified worker died Monday night when the rig overturned and crushed him at CONSOL Energy’s Loveridge Mine preparation plant in Fairview, said Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesman Jesse Lawder.

The rig was doing exploratory work on Marcellus Shale gas deposits, he said, drilling 30-foot holes and setting off explosives for seismic testing.

The state Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training said it had turned the case over to OSHA because the accident didn’t occur on bonded mine property.

Pennsylvania-based CONSOL, meanwhile, said it’s cooperating in the investigation. CONSOL had given Seitel Inc. access to its property, and the Texas-based company had obtained the necessary permits, said spokeswoman Lynn Seay. “The independent testing was not associated with CONSOL Energy’s active coal mining or gas operations,” she said.

Seitel officials referred questions about the accident to Omni Energy Services Corp. of Louisiana. Vice President Mark Stipe acknowledged the accident involved one of his employees but declined to identify him. “The accident investigation is ongoing at this point, and we are cooperating fully with government officials,” he said in an email. “We mourn the loss of our employee, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”


Truck accidents cause delays in Wetzel County

Article by Amy Witchey, Wetzel Chronicle, January 16, 2013

On January 9th at approximately 9:50 a.m. a drilling rig owned by Sun Energy Drilling went into the ditch from the northwest-bound lane of state Route 20 on the northwest side of Reader. Sheriff John Brookover said the driver of the truck said an oncoming truck crowded his side of the road-leaving him the choice of hitting the truck or the ditch. He chose the latter.

The drilling company reportedly had to bring a wrecker out of Morgantown to handle the incident. By the time it got to the scene, it was already afternoon and nearing time for school to release.

The incident caused some major transportation problems. Wetzel County School Transportation Director Brian Jones said several buses, ones from Valley, Shortline, and special needs from New Martinsville, had to be re-routed. “It caused a lot of trouble,” said Jones. Of extra concern were the special needs students, said Jones, “When their schedules are disrupted, sometimes that’s not a little thing.”

“Courtesy is they could have and should have waited until our buses got the kids out (to block both lanes for the recovery),” said Jones, who added that it also stopped some parents from getting to schools to pick up students. “The truck traffic, the industry, needs to be more considerate of our most precious commodity, our children. There’s nothing more important than the safety of the students in Wetzel County.”

Jones also cited three more truck wrecks — at Galmish, Fallen Timber, and American Ridge –since that incident that affected bus routes. However, he said, “Those were minor things.”


Water tanker truck rolls over in Marshall County

Article by Laurie Conway, Digital Journalist – October 9, 2012

MOUNDSVILLE, WV  -  A man was taken to the hospital early Tuesday morning after the truck he was driving rolled over in Marshall County. The West Virginia Department of Highways will investigate the accident

According to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, a water tanker truck flipped over on Route 250 near Wayman’s Ridge. The water in the truck was reported to contain no chemicals.

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