EARTHWORKS

Natural gas explosions lead to injuries and superheated molten ranchland

Jennifer Krill's avatar
By Jennifer Krill

June 8, 2010

Today was bad news for people living next to the natural gas fields nationwide. Two incidents led to injuries and environmental mayhem in Texas and West Virginia, while in Pennsylvania the Moshannon State Forest was still reeling from clean up from last Friday s well blowout. Before reading on, take a minute to help stop this madness at http://frackaction.earthworksaction.org

South of Dallas, Texas, when electrical company workers drilled into a natural gas pipeline, the area expoded into a furnace where the heat was described as unbearable 900 feet away from the explosion. The plume of flame was visible from several miles away. Initially three people were reported dead and several injured; the latest reports indicate that one person remains missing and at least seven were hospitalized.

Texans working to improve set-asides for natural gas infrastructure have been arguing for 1000-foot setbacks away from homes, schools and other buildings. The current law calls for 150-foot setbacks. The Wall Street Journal, in an aside, also points out that Cleburne, Texas, where the explosion occurred, was the site of a series of small earthquakes last year linked to natural gas drilling.

Incidents are on the rise

Earlier today, there was another natural gas explosion, this one in West Virginia, where seven workers were burned when a drilling crew hit a pocket of methane gas. And as if that weren't enough, cleanup continues today in Pennsylvania, where a non-explosive blowout took 16 hours to come under control on Friday. Today, operator EOG Resources was ordered to suspend operations pending investigation. Air emissions forced the FAA to shut down airspace over the area, and at least 35,000 gallons of toxic drilling fluid was released just outside of Moshannon State Forest.

Now is another chance to take action, go to http://frackaction.earthworksaction.org.

Tagged with: natural gas, hydraulic fracturing, fracking, frac act, explosion

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