Archive for July, 2013

Gas Well Explosion Injures Eight in West Virginia

Jul 2013
According to 12 , a gas well exploded in West Virginia at approximately 4:00 a.m. on a Sunday in early July.  The accident occurred at an Antero well site in New Milton.  Early reports indicate that as many as eight people, including five workers, sustained injuries in the explosion, including burn injuries.

Our West Virginia injury attorneys know that burn injuries can be among the most painful and difficult injuries to treat and that burn injuries often leave victims with permanent scarring. The full extent of the injuries sustained by those involved in the explosion has not yet been determined and an investigation is still underway to identify the specific cause of the gas well explosion. Gas Well Explosion Causes Serious Injury After the gas well exploded, both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection launched an investigation. Preliminary results of the investigation have revealed that two tanks were ruptured due to the explosion. The explosion may have initially occurred when a pump that the employees were working on ignited vapors in the area.  The explosion may have consumed all of the vapor or there may have been a fire that kept burning even after the initial explosion.  Other tanks located on the site also sustained damage and material spilled from the tanks that ruptured. The well on the pad where the explosion occurred was a horizontal well that had been drilled recently but not yet fractured. The Department of Energy Protection is conducting an investigation into whether any environmental effects occurred due to the spill from the tanks while OSHA is looking into whether any workplace safety violations occurred that would lead to citations. The DEP reports that at least five people were taken to the emergency room following the incident, with some other reports indicating that there were as many as eight injured.  Several of those who were taken to the hospitals were workers for several different contracting companies.  There have been no conclusive reports on the condition of the men taken to the hospital although some accounts indicate that they suffered burn injuries due to the incident. Antero Resources is also conducting its own investigation into how the incident occurred, securing the services of a third party to identify the problems that may have led to the explosion. Because the company owns the drilling platform, it could potentially be held responsible for the injuries that occurred and could be required to compensate victims. Because there were multiple contractors involved, liability for the accident may become complicated and workers will need to consult with an attorney to understand their legal rights. If the workers are considered employees, they could pursue a workers’ compensation claim against their individual employers. However, if any non-employer was responsible for their injuries as a result of negligence or wrongdoing, then the injured individuals could also pursue a personal injury claim. If you’ve been in an accident in Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia, contact the personal injury attorneys at Recht Law Office. Call us today at 1-800-HURTLINE for a free case consultation.