Blowback into Storage Tank Injures Three (3) in Ohio County, WV

by Duane Nichols on April 27, 2018

Local fire departments respond to blowback accident

Three taken to hospital after hazardous materials incident in Dallas Pike, east of Wheeling

From the News Room, WTRF NEWs 7, April 25, 2018

UPDATE ( 4/25/18 at 5:19 P.M.) – Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard said that one of the two employees transported from PETTA Enterprises on Dallas Pike (I-70 East) is still under medical care.

The Sheriff’s Deputy who drove himself to the hospital is back on duty.


ORIGINAL: Two workers at PETTA Enterprises in Dallas Pike and a nearby Sheriff’s Deputy were taken to the hospital after a hazardous materials incident.

According to Ohio County EMA Director Lou Vargo, a worker was cleaning out a tank on site when they experienced blowback from a well site in Belmont County, made up of sand and residual chemicals.

When the worker was inside of the tank cleaning, there was reportedly a pocket of vapor or some sort of gas that the worker was then exposed to.

Officials initially received a call from the site for reports of a heart attack. When it was determined that the incident involved hazardous materials, area fire departments responded.

Valley Grove and Triadelphia Fire Departments responded and assessed the area for other hazardous materials, trying to identify what was in the blowback from the well site.

One worker and one Sheriff’s Deputy that was in the area were taken to the hospital for observation due to exposure. The other worker is being treated at the hospital, but his conditions are unknown at this time.

According to Valley Grove Fire Chief Scott Himrod, the scene is maintained. The tank has been resealed, and PETTA Enterprises has followed their company procedures.

Vargo says there is no threat to the surrounding area or any of the other workers at the site. The site is located near the old truck stop in the Dallas Pike/Valley Grove area along I-70.

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Jim Paine May 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Superior Mayor: Cause of Refinery Explosion, Fire Remains Under Investigation

From Rebecca Omastiak, KSTP News 5, April 27, 2018

Mayor Paine said the site was under control and although trace levels of chemicals and dust were detected during air quality monitoring, authorities said they weren’t enough to endanger the public.

EPA representative says community air quality monitoring began last night. Trace levels of chemicals, dust from the fire were found, but says it’s not enough to endanger the general public.

The evacuation order for thousands of people was lifted at 6 a.m. Friday.

Paine had said around 6:45 p.m. Thursday night that the blaze had finally been extinguished, though officials said a secondary fire was still burning later Thursday night.

“The status of the site itself and the personnel we have on scene give us confidence there is no danger to the public for the time being,” Paine said.

Paine first made the announcement that the evacuation had been lifted via his Facebook page, stating, “I am lifting the evacuation order at 6 a.m. this morning. All indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal. Welcome home.”

5:38 am. I am lifting the evacuation order at 6 am this morning. All indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal. Welcome home.

The city of Duluth also lifted its precautionary shelter-in-place advisory.

The explosion and subsequent fire sent plumes of smoke into the air Thursday. Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger said crews of 25 to 30 firefighters were battling the blaze throughout most of the operation.

Although crews were able to extinguish the flames Thursday night, smoke lingered in the air.

Paine declared a state of emergency. The evacuation order required those within a three mile radius of the refinery and 10 miles south to find shelter elsewhere.

Kristen Ohara lives close to the refinery and made the call to leave the area around noon on Thursday.

“We were standing in the driveway talking about whether we should leave and we felt another explosion,” Ohara said. “It felt like a truck drove into the front of our house.” Ohara packed up her kids and went to stay at her brother’s house in Duluth. They returned home around 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Other evacuees, like Karen Rickstrom said the fire could have been much worse. “It’s a miracle and thank God no one was killed or very, very seriously injured,” Rickstrom said as she stood in her driveway Friday morning.

Her daughter, Kelcie, said she was at work when she heard about the explosion. She said the experience has opened her eyes to how to properly plan for emergencies. “You can’t really just pick up from work without a plan,” Kelcie Rickstrom said. “This makes me want to rethink, what do I need, how can I prepare for next time.”

Four Corners Elementary School, Mariner Mall, Amsoil Arena, and the convention center in Duluth were being used as temporary shelters.

The explosion at the refinery injured at least 13 people, officials said Friday. Six people were transported to area hospitals and seven others were treated and released.

Refinery manager Kollin Schade said he believed one Husky employee and one contractor remained in the hospital overnight. Authorities say there are no fatalities and all workers are accounted for.

Schools in Superior and nearby Maple, Wisconsin, are closed Friday as a precaution. David Morrison, an on-site coordinator for the EPA, said they will continue to monitor air quality throughout the day.

“While yesterday was a scary day, it had the potential to be absolutely catastrophic,” Paine said. “And the difference between those two days was the hard work, skill and professionalism of hundreds and hundreds of people.”

Meanwhile, investigators with local, state and federal agencies are continuing to look into what caused the explosion. “We will be very interested to understand what the cause was of this yesterday,” Schade said Friday.


Skylark Viewer June 20, 2018 at 8:17 am



Report Details: NRC Report ID: 1214965

Incident Time: 2018-06-11 02:30:00

Nearest City: Weirton, WV

Incident Type: STORAGE TANK


Medium Affected: WATER

Suspected Responsible Party: ARCELORMITTAL WEIRTON LLC

Lat/Long: 40.412906, -80.595523 (Approximated from CITY_STATE)

Reported Spill Volume: 1000 gallon

Report Description


Jim Hooley June 21, 2018 at 11:15 pm

Lightning strike causes explosion at Weld County oil storage facility

From Jim Hooley, KWGN, Denver CO, June 19, 2018

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A lightning strike caused an explosion that damaged or destroyed up to six oil tanks at a storage facility near Hudson in Weld County on Monday night.

Hudson Fire Rescue said it happened about 10:20 p.m. at County Road 16 between County Roads 51 and 53 between Hudson and Keenesburg, about 40 miles northeast of Denver.

The fire burned for several hours before being brought under control on Tuesday morning. Firefighters were working to contain hot spots.

The facility is owned by NGL Energy Partners in Greeley.

Tyler Kaplan was driving southbound on Interstate 76 when video captured a flash of lightning then the explosion.

No injuries were reported.


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