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1 Injured, 1 Unaccounted For At Greene Co. Gas Well Fire

DILLINER (KDKA/AP) – A massive fire and gas well explosion this morning in Greene County has sent one worker to the hospital and left another worker missing.

According to emergency dispatchers, the Chevron drill pad where it happened is located in the 600-block of Bald Hill Church Road in Dunkard Township, about one mile from Bobtown.

KDKA's Ralph Iannotti:

Chevron spokesman Trip Oliver says the fire was reported at about 6:45 a.m. at the Lanco 7H well.

The explosion was so intense, nearby residents reported feeling the ground shake.

Oliver says one person is reported hospitalized and another remains unaccounted for.

"This morning, the Waynesburg Barracks, our station in Waynesburg, was contacted in the neighborhood of around 7 this morning. They were informed that there had been some sort of explosion at a gas site here in our area in Greene County," said Trooper Stefani Plume, of Pennsylvania State Police. "They were informed by the emergency personnel, that on our end of it, that there was one person at the site unaccounted for following the explosion."

There is no word on the condition of the hospitalized worker. No identities have been released either.

The fire is so intense, the blaze could burn for days.

Flames from the fire lit up the night sky Tuesday night, with smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the clear sky.

A special, natural gas well fire fighting team from Texas arrived in the area Tuesday night, and did an initial evaluation, to try to come up with a plan of action to put the fire out.

Because the blaze is gas-fed, it could burn for months or longer, if not extinguished. The team later met with local Emergency Management personnel, and Chevron, the company that operates the well site, one of nearly 650 natural gas wells in Greene County.

Oliver says Chevron personnel immediately responded to the fire and called in assistance from Wild Well Control.

Crews at the scene report that intense flames have kept them from getting too close to the well.

Raw Video from NewsChopper 2:

Police, firefighters and paramedics were all called to the scene.

State police set up a half-mile perimeter around the area.

Sen. Bob Casey released this statement on the explosion:
"My office has been in contact with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and has encouraged them to investigate this well explosion. I've repeatedly encouraged the Administration and companies to make the safety of pipelines and gas wells a priority. Moving forward it's critical that all stakeholders increase their vigilance and oversight of these issues in order to better protect public safety."

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