NEW MILTON, W.Va. – A fire at a natural gas drilling site in Doddridge County is under investigation after 8 workers were injured. It happened Sunday around 4 a.m. at an Antero Resources operation near New Milton.
BANCS Volunteer Fire Chief Randy Trent said he got the call that the VFD needed to assist emergency services with a burn patient but soon got word it was a lot worse.
“Just after we left our station, our dispatch came back and told us there was a well fire and numerous burn patients,” explained Trent.
In fact, the crew hadn’t even arrived on scene when they met up with some of the victims.
“As we were traveling towards the scene, on West Virginia Route 18, we met different private vehicles that had patients in them,” according to Trent. “We were able to get some of them transferred to ambulances.”
The crew then headed to the accident site. Trent says he and a worker from Antero were the first to inspect the scene. They found two fracking tanks on fire. They were more than 50-feet away from the actual drilling rig. Flames were shooting about 8-10 feet into the air.
The firefighters brought their equipment to the drill pad and were able to extinguish the flames.
“We were able to use foam and put the fire out,” said Trent.
Eight workers were injured in the fire. Five of them were flown to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh according to a spokesman from Antero. Three others were transported to local hospitals. No word yet on their conditions.
Trent said it was a difficult situation to handle.
“Anytime you’re dealing with the severely injured like we were [Sunday], it’s a very traumatic situation, if not a scary situation.”
OSHA has been called in to investigate. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection was also notified.
This was not the first fire at an Antero site here in West Virginia. Last year, a fire at an Antero drilling site in Harrison County injured three workers. The company was cited by the DEP.
Antero operates 15 drilling sites, in seven counties in West Virginia. The company is based out of Denver, CO.
DODDRIDGE COUNTY, W.Va. – An investigation is underway into an explosion at a gas well site in Doddridge County early Sunday morning. Eight workers were injured. Four of them were transported to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. There’s no word on their conditions at this time.
The blast happened about 4 a.m. at a well site off of Brushy Fork Road in New Milton owned by Antero Resources. The company operates 15 drilling rigs, in 7 counties, in North Central West Virginia. Antero is based out of Denver, CO.