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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Families flee out-of-control natural-gas leak

"About 25 families in eastern Ohio have been unable to live in their houses for the past three days because of a natural-gas leak at a fracking well that crews cannot stop. Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the state agency that regulates oil and gas, said crews lost control of the Monroe County well on Saturday. Families were evacuated from about 25 houses within a 1.5-mile radius of the well, located near the Ohio River about 160 miles east of Columbus.

The well is not on fire, but the gas could be explosive. “There’s still a steady stream of natural gas coming from the wellhead,” McCorkle said yesterday. The well is operated by Triad Hunter, a Texas company that also has offices in Marietta in southeastern Ohio. The company did not return a call yesterday but said in a statement that the well had been temporarily plugged about a year ago while the company drilled and fracked three more wells on that site.

“Despite numerous precautionary measures taken in connection with the temporary plugging and abandonment operation, the well began to flow uncontrollably while recommencing production operations,” the company said. Triad Hunter workers tried to bolt the cap back into place but couldn’t, the statement said."

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/12/17/families-flee-out-of-control-natural-gas-leak.html