Twenty Trucks Burn & Major Fish Kill at Well Pad in the Ohio Valley

by Duane Nichols on June 30, 2014

Eastern Ohio Well Pad opposite Wetzel Co., WV

Fish kill in eastern Ohio (may be) linked to fire at fracking well

From an Article by Jim Woods, Columbus Dispatch, June 30, 2014

The State of Ohio is investigating a fish kill in an eastern Ohio creek near where a fire occurred at a shale-well fracking site on Saturday.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources learned yesterday of the fish kill in Possum Creek in Monroe County, said Jason Fallon, an agency spokesman. Fallon said he did not have details about the extent of the kill. “I can’t confirm if it’s related to the gas-well fire,” he said.

Phillip Keevert, director of the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency, said Division of Wildlife agents were inspecting the creek yesterday and confirmed that a kill occurred.

The Eisenbarth well pad caught fire on Saturday because of a malfunction in hydraulic tubing, authorities said. Fire spread to about 20 trucks lined up on the well pad, triggering explosions that spewed clouds of black smoke.

The trucks that caught fire are used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. Statoil North America operates eight wells on the pad.

At the height of the fire, 20 to 25 families that live within a mile of the site were evacuated. They were allowed to return home on Saturday evening.

A number of area residents reported the fish kill yesterday. Jack Shaner, deputy director of the Ohio Environmental Council, said he has been told that the kill stretched for a few miles. Shaner said he suspects that chemicals used in fracking ran into the creek when firefighters extinguished the blaze.

“It sounds like it was not just smoke and not just fire, but a major fish kill,” he said. “Both the company and state agencies owe the public a full public accounting of what went wrong and how they are going to prevent future occurrences.”

Statoil North America officials could not be reached for comment. All 17 of the company’s Ohio wells are in Monroe County.

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SkyLark 6/30/14 July 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

FINNEY COUNTY, Kansas – Garden City Fire & Explosion Levels Home

A teenager has died and two others are hospitalized after a gas explosion in Finney county in Kansas. It happened in Plymell, Kan. near Garden City, about a quarter mile east of Highway 83 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Kevin Bascue, Finney County Sheriff, said the blast could be heard at least 10 miles away.

The blast was so powerful it shook the ground. “I was sitting back here when all of a sudden I heard ‘boom.’ Debris was raining down and in an instant the house was flattened,” said a neighbor.

Emergency crews arrived to find the home leveled. The blast also damaged a nearby home, Bascue said. Spencer Unruh, 17, died in the blast. His mother, Kelly Unruh, and a 14-year-old brother, Riley Unruh, were flown to Wichita for treatment. Both remain in critical condition.

Chief Allen Shelton, Garden City Fire Department, said the cause of the explosion was due to a concentration of gas. A spokesman for Midwest Energy said the company is working with investigators in the case.


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