Explosion at Harrison County Gas Well Drilling Site

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A spark from a natural gas drilling operation in north-central West Virginia ignited methane gas several hundred feet underground early Friday, sending up a fireball and triggering a blaze that officials said burned for about an hour on the floor of the rig.

Three workers were injured, two seriously enough to be airlifted to a hospital after the fire at the Antero Resources site near Sycamore in Harrison County. The fire was quickly extinguished and the well pad was in a rural area, so it posed no danger to the public.

Two victims were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.  A third was transported by ambulance.

Their conditions weren’t immediately available, but state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said one had returned to the job site by 9 a.m.

Workers were in the early stages of drilling a Marcellus shale gas well. The drill was about 400 feet deep when they began to withdraw it, creating a spark that ignited the methane. That created more of a fireball than an explosion, he said.

The accident happened at the Cottrill No. 3 well on Antero’s Southern pad, and the crew doing the work was with Hall Drilling LLC of Ellenboro.

Neither Hall Drilling nor Colorado-based Antero immediately returned messages Friday.

Antero voluntarily shut down the operation, and a DEP investigation is under way.

Legal Insight You Need for Your Gas Well Injury Claim

West Virginia workers have had a long-standing tradition of persevering and working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions.  As the oil and gas drilling industry grows, an increasing number of workers are experiencing accidents resulting in serious permanent injuries and wrongful death.

In most cases, a worker who is injured on the job will be able to receive some benefits from a Worker’s Compensation claim.  In West Virginia, if employer is found to have intentionally placed their employee in harm’s way, resulting in serious injury or death, that employee may qualify to file a claim against the employer’s insurance company.

Many injured workers think that their financial damages for medical bills and lost earnings are limited to West Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation laws say that you cannot hold your employer accountable for damages above the amount of benefits paid by the workers’ comp insurance unless you can prove the employer acted with “deliberate intent,” as provided in W. Va. Code 23-4-2.

In many workplace injury and wrongful death cases, however, there may also be a third party who can be held liable for negligence. The third party can include the manufacturer of a piece of defective industrial equipment, the property owner or a subcontractor working on the same job site.

If you or your loved one has been injured due to negligence or willful violation of safety regulations in the workplace, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim.  Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now.  Call Jeff Robinette today for a free evaluation of your case at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695 or visit our website for more information.

We are glad to provide free books and information for WV accident victims: Collision Care: West Virginia Auto Collision Guide, and Righting the Wrong, West Virginia Serious Injury Guide:  304-594-1800.

Source:  Pipeline, ” Three Hurt in WV Gas Line Explosion,” http://shale.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/news/archives/24751-three-hurt-in-wva-gas-well-explosion, August 17, 2012

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Marcellus Shale Oil and Gas Drilling Injuries

Thanks to the development of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas drilling in West Virginia and the hard-working employees and contractors who have made this local explosion of industry possible, West Virginians can look forward to more opportunity and prosperity in the Morgantown, WV and Fairmont, WV area than ever before.

West Virginia workers have had a long-standing tradition of persevering and working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions.  Just as our coal miners have always faced the potential of industrial accidents, oil and gas drilling workers are also experiencing accidents resulting in serious permanent injuries and wrongful death. 

Risk factors for oil and gas workers may include:  explosion, work place injuries, truck accidents, serious and catastrophic injuries, exposure to hazardous chemicals, industrial accidents involving heavy tools and complex equipment, contaminated air and water, hazardous driving conditions, fires, burns, malfunctioning equipment, and safety violations.  Driving to and from the drilling site has become a major risk factor:  one-third of all serious accidents and fatalities linked to fracking occur from trucking accidents.

In most cases, a worker who is injured on the job will be able to receive some benefits from a Worker’s Compensation claim.  In West Virginia, if employer is found to have intentionally placed their employee in harm’s way, resulting in serious injury or death, that employee may qualify to file a claim against the employer’s insurance company. 

If you or your loved one has been injured due to negligence or willful violation of safety regulations in the workplace, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim.  Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now.  Call Jeff Robinette today for a free evaluation of your case at 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.  http://www.robinettelaw.com

 

   

Oil and Gas Facts, Marcellus Shale Fracking

With the development of the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, the number of job opportunities in the natural gas industry has tripled.  Thousands of new jobs have already been created for West Virginians. According to a recent study by West Virginia University, there will be at least 7,000 new West Virginia jobs created due to the impact of the Marcellus Shale development including rig hands, roughnecks, engineers, as well as opportunities for contractors who serve the industry through drilling, pipeline construction, well service, trucking, and oil field service and supply.

According to the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia:

  • Natural gas serves approximately 65 million homes; 5 million businesses including hotels, restaurants, hospitals, schools and supermarkets; 207,000 factories and 1,800 electric generating units.• Natural gas is considered the cleanest fossil fuel because it produces emissions much lower than those of other fossil fuels.• Natural gas currently generates approximately 23 percent of total U.S. electricity.

    • Natural gas is predominately a domestic energy source. In 2010, 99% of the natural gas consumed in the United States was produced in North America.

    • According to the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2011, the United States possesses 2,543 trillion cubic feet of potential natural gas resources, enough to meet current U.S. consumption for another 100 years.

Source: IOGA West Virginia website – “Industry Facts

Two Contractors Suffer Burn Injuries at Harrison Power Station

HealthNet flew two people to the hospital after they suffered burns at the Harrison Power Station Friday afternoon.

The two contract workers from C&K Industrial who were injured while doing work at the Harrison Power Station in Haywood (Haywood Power Station) Friday have been treated at the West Penn Burn Center and released, according to First Energy Spokesman.  One of the workers was treated and released Friday evening, while the other was kept overnight for observation and was released Saturday morning.

HealthNet flew both victims to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh. First Energy said one of the victims suffered temperature burns on his arms and chest. He was treated and released. The second victim suffered small chemical burns on his face and is still in the hospital.
One had a temperature burn on his bicep and was treated and has since been released from West Penn Burn Center. He was originally going to be treated at Ruby Memorial Hospital, but plans changed mid-air.  The other worker suffered small burns on his face, and will be kept overnight for observation also at West Penn Burn Center.  The injuries are not life threatening.

First Energy is conducting an internal investigation.

For more information about workplace injuries or for help navigating through serious workplace injury claims, please visit our website or call Jeff Robinette at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC at 304-594-1800.

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Driver Plummets Off Bridge While Texting and Lives to Warn Others

“I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.”

That was one of the final texts written by a 21-year-old  before his truck plummeted off a Texas bridge and into a ravine. The young man miraculously survived despite suffering brain injuries and breaking nearly every bone in his body, including his cheekbones, neck and skull. He also had to be brought back to life three times, reports WBTV.

This past Wednesday the young man left the hospital after a six-month stay that included numerous reconstructive surgeries and intensive rehabilitation (he even had to learn how to speak again). Though the incident took place January 24, only now is he able to discuss the crash.

“Don’t do it. It’s not worth losing your life,” the man said of texting behind the wheel. “I went to my grandmother’s funeral not long ago, and I kept thinking, it kept jumping into my head, I’m surprised that’s not me up in that casket. I came very close to that, to being gone forever.”

As smartphones increasingly play a role in our lives, so too does distracted driving. A doctor from the young man’s rehabilitation program told the Daily News that the he is treating an increased number of patients injured because of texting on the road. “And unfortunately I don’t think we’re going to see a decrease in that anytime soon.”

But driving under the influence of your phone isn’t the only issue; pedestrians are also in danger. Recent security camera footage revealed a shocking incident in which a Philadelphia man fell onto train tracks as he distractedly walked and talked on his cellphone. (Luckily there were no trains were headed his way, and the man escaped to safety.)

“If I had a kid 16 years old starting to drive, they could have a phone but the texting feature wouldn’t be on it,” the young man’s father suggests.

This young man believes one of his reasons for still being alive is to spread the message he learned all too well. “I still have things to do in this world,” he said. “I should tell everyone not to text message and drive.”

Morgantown WV Car Accident Lawyers

If you would like more information about texting while driving or need help in navigating the insurance claims process after having been injured by someone else’s negligence or carelessness in WV, please click here.  Jeff Robinette at the Robinette Legal Group in Morgantown answers questions like yours everyday and would be happy to answer yours.  Call 304-594-1800 or 304-216-6695 today.

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