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.






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  • RHytonen

    IT and/or its vapors can EXPLODE - But "Brine" is perfectly safe to expose to and permeate our aquifers in perpetuity.

    What are they thinking?

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  • oilfield contractor

    I believe the first individual to make a comment has obviously spent a great deal of time in the study of bovine scatology. Here's an idea, we let professionals, who have actually been to the site and know the true conditions, investigate the incident and provide the industry with an informed and intelligent answer as to the true cause.
    And in the mean time we respect the family & friends of the deceased by not letting our mouth out run our mind.

  • Family

    I work there and I'm a family member of the deceased... His truck was not even hooked to the tank it was not the trucks fault!

  • jmarks

    Brine does not cause flash fires or explosions. This is clearly a case of condensate build up in the tank and the improper use of a vacuum truck to remove it. API standards are clear on the proper use of gear driven pumps when this situation occurs. Producers must be held accountable when the proper equipment is not utilized on a well location. Standard water trucks are not the answer. Code 407 trucks w/ gear driven pumps grounded to the tank would have prevented this unfortunate accident.

    • Tiny

      Since jmarks is the owner of 21st century energy maybe there is a agenda to lambast the producer and the contractor?

    • Tiny

      This guy jmarks should be held accountable legally and personally. He writes "This is a case....." and blames someone else before the dust settles, the victim is placed in the ground, and a investigation is held. Obviously this narcissistic should be investagated. He places this post of deniability not three hours after the incident, that in its self should raise red flags and call for a investagation into this guy and his dealings.

    • BrineHauler

      It is not clear that an explosion was caused by anything to do with the truck. Other reports indicate that the driver was on the catwalk near the top of the tanks when the accident occured. The right answer is to wait for the accident investigation to determine the cause and for the industry to take appropriate precautions to prevent another tragic accident in the future.

      In the meantime our thoughts & prayers need to be with the family & friends of the driver.