The state Department of Environmental Protection says a water truck driver was killed Friday at a natural gas well site near Flemington in Taylor County.
DEP spokesperson Kathy Cosco says a flash explosion occurred as the worker was transferring brine from a brine tank into a truck.
“Something ignited that tank and it exploded killing that employee, destroying the tank and damaging the truck,” Cosco said.
The worker was apparently working alone at the time. He was found by another worker later.
Cosco says the DEP is looking at the impact of what happened.
“How much of the material in that tank is on the ground and whether there are fluids from the truck, like hydraulic fluids or diesel, that might be on the ground as well,” she said.
The worker suffered head trauma. His body was taken to Grafton City Hospital.
EQT released the following statement Friday afternoon in connection with the accident:
On the morning of Friday, February 15, 2013, an incident occurred at an EQT Corporation well site on Berry Road in Flemington, West Virginia. Authorities have confirmed the fatality of an employee of one of EQT’s contractors.
Details are very limited, but what is known is that the incident was not related to drilling, as it occurred on a producing well site. Initial findings indicate that the fatally injured contractor was at the site to check fluid levels on water storage tanks when the incident occurred. The well site is producing dry gas and does not contain any condensate.
The site has been secured as the investigation is ongoing into the exact cause of the incident and all appropriate regulatory authorities have been notified. The safety and security of EQT employees and contractors is a core value and it’s a sad day when we lose anyone within our community. Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of the deceased.