WEST UNION, W.Va. — One person involved in Friday morning’s well pad explosion in Doddridge County has died, OSHA officials confirmed Tuesday.
A fire started around 10 a.m. Friday near West Union, causing burn injuries to four workers. Conditions on the other three injured in the incident are not known at this time.
Jake Glance, communications director of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, said the fire did not occur on an active well pad but instead involved three above-ground storage tanks (ASTs) that had been decommissioned several years ago.
“The ASTs were taken to the site where the fire occurred,” Glance said. “Upon initial investigation it appears the tanks were owned by Hydrocarbon.”
Hydrocarbon Well Services is a Buckhannon-based oil and gas company that has serviced the Appalachian region for 35 years.
“The three ASTs were dragged down a dirt access road where they were being cleaned out,” Glance said. “The fire is believed to have occurred when the one active AST associated with this well was being cut up for scrap using a torch. They were decommissioning this active AST in order to replace it.”
Glance said Enviroclean was hired by Hydrocarbon for environmental remediation and that absorbent booms were placed in Cabin Run, a small stream next to the site of the fire, to prevent oil from leaving the site.
Additional booms were placed approximately 700 feet downstream and an underflow dam was installed approximately 100 feet downstream of the initial spill.
“It is uncertain how much oil entered the stream. There were no fish kill,” he said.
Soil remediation at the site was underway over the weekend.
WVDEP is working with local emergency officials and OSHA, who is conducting an investigation into the incident.