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Gas Well Explosion in Avella Pennsylvania, Washington County

February 24, 2011

Three workers were sent to the hospital Wednesday night February 23 when a natural gas drilling site in Avella PA (Washington County) exploded and a huge fire raged for hours.

Watch the WPXI Channel 11 news report.

Three tanks caught fire and huge fireballs challenged at least twelve fire crews and a hazmat unit that came out in response.

Chesapeake Appalachia LLC spokesman Stacey Brodak said “there was no danger to the public or the environment.”  Although thick black smoke filled with toxins billowed into the atmosphere for hours and the workers caught in the blast were at the time transferring water used in a gas-extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing which is laden with toxic chemicals.

Residents described events saying that it “sounded like a bomb going off” and another thought a plane had gone down.

Update: From the Observer-Reporter comes word that one of the workers injured in the fire caused by flaring three natural gas wells is in critical condition.

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