A Feb. 11 explosion at a Chevron natural gas well has left a worker injured and another worker missing. The well is located in Dunkard Township in Greene County, near the Pennsylvania – West Virginia border. The accident site is approximately 50-miles south of Pittsburgh.
A spokesperson for Chevron stated that the event occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m. at the Lanco 7H well run by Chevron Appalachia. When the explosion happened, the company immediately initiated pre-established emergency response procedures, according to the spokesperson. Chevron also sought out assistance from a specialist in natural gas well fires and explosions, Wild Well Control.
A Greene County, Pennsylvania dispatcher says that the injured worker was transported to a local hospital. The condition of the treated individual was not immediately known. The dispatcher also indicated that rescuers were engaged in a search for the missing worker. A fire was reportedly still burning at the site during the afternoon, hours after the explosion.
There was no initial word from Chevron as to how or why the explosion happened. A company spokesperson communicated via an email that the company’s primary focus was to stem the fire and to ensure the safety of workers and contractors at or near the well site. The safety of the surrounding communities was also a key priority, according to the email.
In cases like this, a state’s workers compensation laws come into play. A company and its insurer can be held liable for any injuries and/or deaths caused by workplace accidents. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will typically conduct an investigation to establish why such an explosion occurred, and what OSHA regulations may have been violated. The federal agency may levy fines against parties that it deems responsible for a workplace accident. Accident lawyers for an injured worker may possibly use the findings of investigators to press claims of liability against the company or companies deemed responsible. For additional information, or to discuss the specific details of your situation, please contact us.