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Explosion in Washington Co
03-06-2011, 03:01 PM
Post: #1
Video Explosion in Washington Co
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Explosion Reports Send Crews To Washington Co. Gas Well Site

MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A heater malfunction may have sparked a fire Tuesday inside a tank at a Marcellus Shale gas compressor station in Hickory, Washington County.

Channel 4 Action News' Janelle Hall reported that crews were called to a site in Mount Pleasant Township off Caldwell Road after 911 dispatchers started getting calls about an explosion on Tuesday morning.

"We heard a big 'Boom!' It shook our house," Rebecca Skirpan told Hall.

State environmental officials said flames blew the hatch off a second tank, which may have been the noise heard by several people living in the area. No one was hurt, but the incident is still under investigation.

Range Resources denied that there was any sort of explosion. Spokesman Matt Pitzarella said that one of the company's employees was inspecting wells in the area when he saw smoke coming from a compressor station and called 911.

Hall reported that Range Resources said that an inspector spotted a small fire and put it out with a handheld fire extinguisher.

Pitzarella said that as part of the company's emergency preparedness plan crews are required to call 911 if they see anything unusual.

People who live in the area told Hall they're concerned about safety. The site sits just six miles away from another Marcellus Shale site in Avella where three workers were injured during an explosion last week.

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