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No Injuries After Well Pad Explosion In Eastern Ohio

by Julie Grant, Allegheny Front

Natural gas and brine water continue to pour uncontrollably from a well pad in Belmont County, near Powhatan Point, after an explosion and fire at the site Thursday morning. 

No one was injured when workers lost control at a well pad owned by Exxon’s XTO Energy near the Ohio River. Nearby residents reported hearing the explosion, and the low rumbling sounds of the fire. About 100 were told to evacuate their homes.

XTO spokesperson Karen Matusic said rain has made it difficult for drones to tell what’s happening onsite, but it's believed the fire is out.

"There’s a combination of gas and brine, which is salty water, coming out of the well right now," Matusic said. "We’re working emergency responders and state regulators to contain as much as possible before we can go in there and shut the well in."

Matusic said XTO will be using an infrared camera on its drones Friday to detect methane leaks, determine the safety for workers to get on site and figure out how to stop the leak.

The Allegheny Front is produced in Pittsburgh and reports on the environment. 

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