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5 NEWS UPDATE: Company IDs Worker Killed in W.Va. Well Pad Blast
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on February 17, 2013 @ 11:48PM
Created on February 17, 2013 @ 9:56AM
Update (2/17):
FLEMINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A contractor has identified an employee who was killed in an explosion at an EQT natural gas well pad in Taylor County.
Central Environmental Services CEO Jeff Harper said that Brian Hopkins was near two tanks when the explosion occurred on Friday.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has said the worker was attempting to transfer briny wastewater from a tank into a truck.
Harper says Hopkins hadn't begun transferring water when the explosion occurred. He says the transfer is a routine activity that the company's employees do every day.
Harper says CES is cooperating with state and federal investigators. The company also is conducting an internal investigation.
EQT spokeswoman Linda Robertson has said the accident wasn't related to drilling.
5 News Update (2/15) 6:30 PM:
OSHA has been called to the scene where a worker was killed during an apparent explosion at a natural gas well pad in Taylor County.
Officials with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said the worker that was killed was a contracted employee working through Central Environmental.
Investigators still aren't sure what sparked the explosion. However, officials with EQT, the company that owns the pad, told 5 News that it wasn't related to drilling because that accident occurred on a producing well site.
Officials with EQT also mentioned that site has been shut down until further notice.
5 News Update (2/15) 11:45 AM:
 GRAFTON, W.Va. (AP) - State regulators say a worker has been killed in an explosion at an EQT natural gas well pad in Taylor County.
Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kathy Cosco says the blast happened early Friday morning and killed one person who was working alone. No information about the victim was immediately available.
Cosco says the worker was attempting to transfer brine from a tank into a truck. What sparked the explosion is unclear and will be the focus of the state's investigation.
Brine is the salty, chemical-laced water that gas drillers use to blast fissures into shale, allowing the gas to migrate up for collection. Cosco says some of the chemicals used in the brine can be flammable.
Pittsburgh-based EQT didn't immediately return a telephone message.
Original Story:
One person is apparently dead after a well site explosion in Taylor County.
Crews were called to the scene on Berry Run Road in Flemington a little before 8:30 Friday morning.
According to 911 officials, there was one confirmed fatality. There were no other injuries, and no apparent fire on the scene.
Fleimington Fire and EMS, Taylor County EMS, and the Taylor County Sheriff's Department all responded.
Stay with 5 News and WDTV.com for any further updates.

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Comments (1)
Feb 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Condolences to the family of the man who died. Hopefully investigators can find out the reason why it ignited so it doesn't happen again. This is still no reason for the EPA to start using this 'accident' as a reason to stop drilling. ALL jobs have their own risks. Even working in a restaurant. Years ago a local McDonald's had a person die from electrocution in the kitchen. Liberals don't understand that just walking outside your own home is a risk. And even inside one's home people trip over rugs and things and get injured or die. You can't put everyone in a bubble to prevent accidents. It's part of life and it's reality.
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