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article imageOhio families forced to flee out-of-control natural gas leak

By Karen Graham     Dec 18, 2014 in Environment
It has been four days since about 25 families living in Eastern Ohio have been able to return to their homes after a fracking well started leaking natural gas. Oil and gas workers have been unable to control the leak that started on Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Bethany McCorkle, said crews in Monroe County lost control of the well on Saturday. Evacuation of homes in a 3.0-mile radius of the well-site about, 160-miles east of Columbus, was ordered. People are allowed back in their homes during the day, but must not stay overnight.
Although the well is not on fire, there is a risk of explosion. “There’s still a steady stream of natural gas coming from the wellhead,” McCorkle said yesterday.
A Texas-based company, Triad Hunter, is the owner of the well-site. On December 16, they released a statement saying they had “experienced a loss of control of a well, the Stalder 3UH, located in Monroe County, Ohio." The company said the well had been temporarily plugged a year ago while fracking was carried out on three more wells on the site.
The company stated that despite trying to fix the temporary "night-cap," crews were unsuccessful in controlling the flow of the natural gas spewing out of the well.
Yesterday, Triad Hunter released another statement updating the public on the continuing problems at the well-site. Besides the limitations imposed on the residents of the area, a no-fly zone has now been established for a 5,000 feet and a 3.0 mile radius, and will remain in effect throughout the operation.
Ohio has experienced many explosions and fires at fracking sites across the state, as well as at least 400 small earthquakes, allegedly attributed to fracking. Alison Auciello, the Ohio organizer for Food & Water Watch was critical of Ohio Governor John Kasich, the Ohio legislature and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on the issue of fracking.
Auciello questioned the reasoning behind continuing fracking, asking, "How many accidents will it take for Governor Kasich take a nod from Governor Cuomo, pay attention to the science, listen to his constituents and realize that there is no such thing a safe fracking?”
More about eastern ohio, natural gas leak, unused fracking well, explosion risk, Out of control
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