BOBTOWN, W.Va. — It could be days before a gas well fire in southwestern Pennsylvania is contained.

That fire was still burning at a Chevron Appalachia site near Bobtown in Greene County, Pa. on Tuesday evening, more than 12 hours after an explosion was first reported there.

Chevron officials confirmed one of about 20 employees working at the time of the blast was still unaccounted for late in the day.  Another worker was injured in the explosion and fire.

“Chevron’s primary concern, at this point, is to contain the fire and ensure the safety of its employees, contractors and the surrounding community,” company officials said in a statement.

Several local fire departments responded to the scene initially.  A firefighting team from Houston, specially trained to fight well fires, arrived in Pittsburgh early on Tuesday afternoon.

The cause of the blast, which sent flames and smoke high into the air throughout the day Tuesday, was not immediately clear. 

Pennsylvania State Police said it would be later this week before they could access the site on Bald Hill Church Road to start an investigation.

Video courtesy – WPXI Pittsburgh

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Al

    I always thought Bobtown was in Pa not Wv. Your headline reads Bobtown Wva.

  • Jim

    The jobs created are minimal. The gas is exported and barely anything is being refined. How about the state passing laws to keep the energy here to be refined for materials and exported as electricity? Another. Safety is super important for everyone. No one is happy about this. This can all be done safely for people and the environment. And jobs can be more than temporary. The economy does stink. I work less than I've worked in years. If companies are to come in our states, then we the people of those states should benefit the most. Not just a few temporary jobs. Pennsylvania first. Not gas being exported to countries.

  • amanda cline

    It's very scary, they are putting these wells every where and I don't think they are properly looked after,but mostly payed off. The ppl that work these wells work lots of hours and from experience from dating a guy that worked for this company they do alot of things to keep them awake. witch is not safe... It's sad I feel for the family thats son is lost ...

  • A Smith

    If you examine the video you can see a wireline valve and a nitecap is attached to the well control valve.This fire must have resulted in the tying process for production or other wise flowing for diversion.We can be happy that more folks didn't get injured,good luck to Wild Well Control!!

  • Country. ( wellhead guy)

    I work in the industry every day but if you have ever experienced that long day at work. You know that 12 hour shift. Congrats to you

    But if you have ever experienced working 150 hours a week of the 168 that's in a week in the cold rain and snow and running days with out sleep and a warm meal you don't have room to talk on here I feel very sorry for the family's involved in this accident. And when ur loved ones tell you to be safe and be carefull today at work.

    Here is what we are thinking about

    Welll Hun ill do my best to be safe i know about my abilitys but what about who is driving in front of me or behind me? Are they drunk or on drugs have they been up for 5 days straight like me?

    But all we can say is yes hunny I love you and ill TTYL

  • hugatree

    anyone bashing it needs to get a clue. i live not far from this and let me tell you it was probably human error. if it was caused by the propane truck being too close. think of how easily something could spark just from static. There are around 550 wells in greene county, almost 50 in dunkard twp alone. now..this is the first time this has happened. now steve and sandy go back to hugging your trees.

    • SamWvu304

      Thank you hug.. but I know of another time.. Ronco well.. was umm 8- maybe 10 years ago.. can't remember the exact date. But it was a service rig if I remember correct. Unless you were being sarc. Kinda same company. They weren't bought by Chevron yet though. Anything could caused it. Static is a very probable cause, especially since its winter and I'm sure fleece was worn somewhere on that site,those FRs don't always keep you warm,unless its 90° already then they'll roast you.. Perfect culprit.Anyway,May God bless all the people involved keep them all safe as they do there duties daily.

      • hugatree

        no i wasnt being sarcastic at all. I was serious. You are right Prayers for the victims and families.

  • SamWvu304

    Anyone know if the injured workers were local yet? I haven't heard anything. Have way too many friends and family in the industry to see this happen and not worry. Thoughts and prayers to all those involved.God Bless!!

    • hugatree

      yes 1 was taken to the hospital one is still missing. check pittsburgh news channels

  • jay zoom

    cut all the bull crap as it stands right now a life could be at stake here. coal and gas if we do not have it in our lives you do not keep warm you do not have a hot meal might as well crawl in a hole and freeze and starve to death

  • PD

    If all 20 men were missing on the site, there would be a greater cry for accountability. It was only a stroke of luck that made this situation even more tragic than it is now. Until people wake up and fight for regulation and worker safety, there will be more men and women killed at these sites and communities will continue to be tremendously impacted, but not in a good way. The gas train has left the station. It is now up to us to make sure it is as safe as possible. My thoughts and prayers to the family for the worker who is missing.

  • A proud Liberal

    Shut it own... the U.S. is a racist, bigoted society that has too much of the global wealth.

  • USA

    U can't stop progress !!! only hope to make it work for our planet and our life ,we live and learn everyday it's part of being human ! We need it all gas , electric, wind and we don't need it from the Arabs ! God bless America and the men and women at this pad !! And when was the last time u saw a Prius pull 60,000pds. Of groceries to your local market lol... Drill here drill now support American independence !!!! Let The Lord look over this hard working people !!!

  • Kurtis

    If the casing parted well below surface then it has to burn out

  • Kurtis

    To put the fire out they have to create an explosion that would suck all oxygen away from the source.

  • Kurtis

    Does anyone know that without these natural resources we have no electricity. I say stop drilling in the northeast.Shut all gas and oil lines in from the south and let the dumbasses go with out electric, gasoline and heating oil.

  • Dennis

    Gas wells ruins our roads vehicles and I cant drink our water. Just think bathing your kids and grandkids in radon. America had bed bugs a thing of the past but because of workers from other countries they are back. Just go to bed bugs .com