Marcellus Gas Industry Accidents Continue “Big Time”

by Duane Nichols on February 26, 2016

Storage Tank Fire Burned Itself Out?

Doddridge County Marcellus Well Fire Under Investigation

Update Article from WDTV News 5, February 25, 2016

The cause of a natural gas well fire that happened early this morning in Doddridge County is still unknown, but Antero Resources says they plan to get to the bottom of it.

Crews on the scene say the fire came from two production units near West Union. The name of the well is unknown. Antero Resources released a statement which reads…

“At approximately 5 a.m. today at an Antero production site in Doddridge County, a gas processing equipment failure occurred which triggered a contained onsite fire. Upon receiving notification of the incident, Antero immediately notified first-responders, who quickly arrived and extinguished the fire by 7:15 a.m., and also notified W.Va. DEP. While limited equipment damage was sustained, no one was injured, no environmental impacts occurred and the producing wells are secure.”

“Antero is investigating the incident’s cause and will work with local and state authorities throughout this process. Antero deeply appreciates the quick and professional response from the local fire departments, who prepare and routinely train for such events directly with the company to ensure effective and highly coordinated responses.”

— Statement from Antero Resources — For the Original Story Click Here

Doddridge gas well site ordered shut down following fire

From an Article by Jim Davis, Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, February 26, 2016

WEST UNION — Four Antero Resources natural gas wells in Doddridge County will remain idle while an investigation into a Thursday morning fire continues, state regulators said.

The fire occurred about 5 a.m. at the company’s R.J. Smith Pad near West Union, said Kelly Gillenwater, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

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OSHA probes gas worker death in Pleasants County

From an Article by Ken Ward, Charleston Gazette-Mail, January 31, 2016

Federal officials are investigating the death last month of a gas industry worker in Pleasants County in what may be the latest in a string of workers killed by toxic fumes from petroleum storage tanks.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is examining the death, which occurred on December 17, 2015.

Aaron Michael Flanigan, 20, of Pennsboro, was working for Balis Well Service, using a wooden gauge stick to measure contents of a tank. He was found on top of the tank, was unresponsive and was dead when emergency crews arrived, according to an OSHA spokeswoman. A death notice published by the local funeral home said that Flanigan was married and had eight siblings. It said he enjoyed computers, dirt bikes, horses, fishing and “anything outdoors.”

On its website, OSHA says that Flanigan died “from exposure to gas vapors.” A state official said that Flanigan was on a tank ladder, but had fallen partway into a manhole on top of the tank.

Leni Uddyback-Fortson, the OSHA spokeswoman, said that the agency is investigating the death “to determine causative factors, including the potential for exposure to hydrocarbon gases and vapors and oxygen deficient atmosphere.”

“We don’t know for sure at this point, but a hazard involved in this work is exposure to hydrocarbon vapors and oxygen deficient atmosphere when the worker opens the hatch,” Uddyback-Fortson said last week.

Word of the OSHA investigation of Flanigan’s death comes just as researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are publishing new findings that warn of a trend in oil and gas workers dying from exposure to hydrocarbon gases and vapors, known as HGVs, and oxygen-deficient atmospheres after they open the hatches of storage tanks.

NIOSH identified nine such deaths between January 2010 and March 2015. Those occurred in Colorado, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas. The new report said that health professionals need to recognize the signs and symptoms of exposure to high concentrations of HGVs in oil and gas workers.

“As required by OSHA regulations, employers should reduce or eliminate the hazard. This can include practices that allow for alternative fluid sample collection points, remote monitoring of fluid levels, proper use of gas monitors, respiratory protection meeting OSHA requirements, and worker training,” the report said. “Employers also need to ensure that workers do not work alone where they might have risks for exposures to high concentrations of hydrocarbons and low-O2 environments.”

Earlier this year, a commission appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to examine oil and gas industry worker safety and health issues included in its recommendations a suggestion that the state Department of Environmental Protection come up with a list of “best practices” for the monitoring of potentially dangerous vapors at oil and gas production sites.

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WDTV.COM News 5 from 2015: Doddridge Co. Truck Accident Sends 3 to Hospital

From WDTV News 5 Staff Reports, January 17, 2015

News 5 (WDTV) has learned that three people have been transported from the scene of this accident to United Hospital Center. There is still no word on their identity or the extent of their injuries.

According to investigators a dump truck hit a Waste Management truck on Monday, January 17, 2015. The cab was torn from the Waste Management truck and landed in the median.

We are getting reports that there were three transports. There is no word yet on the extent of injuries or the exact cause of the accident.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area of Route 50 and Route 18 near West Union if possible.

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