On the Anniversary of the BP Explosion, A Natural Gas Well In Pennsylvania Explodes, Spilling Thousands of Gallons of Toxic Fracking FluidApr 21st, 2011 | By admin | Category: Lead Articles, Natural Gas Explosions
From the cruel irony department: on the one year anniversary of the most notorious natural gas explosion in American history — the BP Deepwater Horizon event that killed 11 workers and spilled God knows how much oil into the Gulf of Mexico along with millions of gallons of “dispersant” meant to spur the cleanup effort — another natural gas well has exploded, again spilling millions of toxic fluid, this time in Pennsylvania.
Yep — Pennsylvania, where five people (including a baby boy and his mother) were killed on Feb. 10 in Allentown when a natural gas pipeline exploded and a 19-year-old utility worker was killed in Philadelphia when a natural gas line in that city exploded on Jan. 19.
Television station WNEP is reporting that a natural gas well in Leroy Township, PA, exploded earlier today, spilling millions of gallons of toxic fracking fluid and into a creek there.
Reportedly, no one was injured in the explosion, but seven families have been evacuated from the area, according to local media.
As of this writing, the company that owns the well, Chesapeake Energy, had not issued a statement on the explosion, and it was not mentioned on the company’s Facebook page either. However, a company rep told naturalgaswatch.org just a few minutes ago that they company would be issuing a statement shortly.
We will, of course, post it as soon as it becomes available.
That said, there seems to be no question that the major spill will have, to put it charitably, negative effects on the local ecosystem. Indeed, one blogger is reporting that the personnel from the Pennsylvania Department of the Environment are already on site taking water samples there to determine the extent of the damage from the contaminants, which have already flowed into the Towanda Creek, which in turn feeds the Susquehana River.
Regardless of what Chesapeake Energy has to say for itself, though, there’s no question that the natural gas industry has taken a terrible toll on Pennsylvania and the people who live and work there in the last few months, both in terms of human lives and environmental damage.
Given that cost, there’s no question that this natural gas explosion, coming as it does in the context of the already controversial context of fracking, will raise new concerns about the true cost of natural gas.