Heavy Damage in Fracking Site Fire

Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 05:04 PM gHale

Investigators are still working to learn what caused a fire that caused $8 million in damage, destroying five tractor-trailers at a well site in Brooke County, WV.

The fire started at 5 p.m. Monday and smoke started billow throughout the area.

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Officials aren’t sure what started the blaze, but it ended up being a massive fire that consumed five tractor-trailers all equipped with hydraulic pumps. On top of that, the fire was dangerously close to an open well that was undergoing a fracking process.

“One well head was capped. The other one was the one they were fracking,” said Franklin Community Volunteer Fire Department Chief Larry Palmer. “With that well head there was a concern. We were briefed by the safety officer, a representative from Chesapeake and guys were keeping that well head cool with water while the other ones were extinguishing the fire.”

It took a dozen crews more than three hours before they could clear the scene.

Chesapeake runs the fracking operation for FTS International.

“FTS International (FTSI) equipment used for well completions was damaged in a fire at a West Virginia well site on April 8,” said its Director of Corporate Communications Pamela Percival. “No one was injured in the incident. Personnel working on the site followed proper procedures and evacuated the location. The fire began about 5 p.m. EDT at what is known as the Hervey well site, located in Brooke County, WV. The incident is currently under investigation.”

Investigators do not suspect foul play, but the cause is still under investigation. Local officials said the damage was about $8 million.

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