Preston County WV Worker Killed at a Coal Mine Reclamation Site

Worker Killed in Preston County at Mine Reclamation Site

KINGWOOD, WV: – A contract worker helping in the installation of a water treatment system at the former Decondor Coal site in Preston County died on the job Tuesday when a ditch at a mine reclamation site caved in on him.  This worker was employed by Breakaway Inc. out of Sutton, West Virginia.

When a mining permit for this location was revoked, the reclamation work responsibility was transferred to the state.

The local police and the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will investigate the incident to determine the cause, fault, and possible negligence or safety violations.

Click Here to Learn More about the Legal and Criminal Ramifications After a Workplace Accident or Fatality and a Family’s Legal Rights

Gas Well Fire in Doddridge County WV Legal Insight

On Sunday, July 7th, 2013,  Antero officials reported five workers were injured in a gas well pad explosion at about 4:00 a.m. at a Doddridge County, WV gas drilling site off Brushy Fork Road near New Milton, WV.  The five men were taken to the West Penn Burn Center and are being treated for various degrees of burns.  Regular operations have been shut down at the Antero Resources well site after the two explosions on Sunday morning.  Most of the injured are in severe critical condition and some have required surgery.

The men who suffered burn injuries were working for contracting companies — three men from Nabors Completion and Production Service, one from C and R Downhole Drilling LLC, and a worker who is employed by Willowbend Investments Incorporated.  The identities of the men and their conditions have not been released.  Antero operates 15 drilling sites in seven counties in West Virginia.  This is the second explosion at an Antero site within a year in West Virginia.  Two deaths resulted from this tragic incident.Gas Well Fire Doddridge County WV

Right now investigators believe a pump which the employees were working on may have ignited gas vapors which caused an explosion, causing two tanks to rupture and causing damage to other tanks.  The diesel engine pump, which had malfunctioned, was being used to push data logging equipment down into the horizontal wellbore, which had been drilled and hydraulically fractured, by pumping fluid behind it.  The well had been drilled recently, and the crew was in the final stages of completing the well.  Workers were inserting a narrow production tube into the metal casing around the drilled hole when methane gas somehow ignited.  Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that fumes that had volatilized and accumulated inside the tanks and exploded.

The fluid that was contained in two tanks next to the pump was “produced water” which is a fluid that comes back up from wells that may contain explosive volatile organic compounds.  DEP spokeswoman said Monday the blast ruptured two tanks containing flow backwater that Antero had been reusing, but the secondary containment system captured the fluid as designed and none left the site. There was no contamination to any nearby streams, she said, and the nearest home is about a half-mile away so it was unaffected.

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 an 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  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.

For More Information:  WBOY news, July 8th, 2013:  http://www.wboy.com/story/22776291/gas-well-workers-injured-in-explosion#.Udq5ObZMY_0.twitter

West Virginia State Journal, July 8th, 2013:  http://www.statejournal.com/story/22782306/basic-details-still-coming-in-on-sunday-antero-wellpad-explosion

Is There a Difference Between a Collision and an Accident in WV?

Collision CareOne of the classic ways that insurance adjusters begin the process of defeating your claim is to label the wrongful conduct of their own insured driver as an accident.   They will attempt to gain sympathy for their insured driver and make the collision sound like just a little mistake — an accident.   While it is true that many minor collisions occur every day and cause no personal injuries to anyone, it is not accurate to say that all collisions are “accidents”.

When a significant auto collision occurs, causing serious personal injuries, it is self-evident that the person who caused the collision violated the motor vehicle safety laws and is thus guilty of careless, negligent conduct.

It is important to never refer to the conduct of the at-fault driver, who caused your serious injuries, as a mere mistake, or the auto collision as an accident.  If the collision was truly an “accident,” then the law may not hold anyone responsible.  The law requires that legal liability be established on the basis of fault, referred to as negligence.

 WV Uniform Crash Report Replaces Uniform Accident Report

 For many decades, law enforcement officers used the “Uniform Accident Report” form to annotate information about the auto collision.   Notice the word “Accident” in the title of the form?    Insurance companies and defense lawyers loved it!   During trials, the defense lawyer, the police officer, and even the judge referred to the collision as an accident.   So, what’s a jury to think about your claim if it was caused by an accident?  Well, I can tell you from experience — not much.

Recently, however, the use of a revised auto collision report form was mandated in West Virginia.   The change was primarily brought about because a new form had to be created to be integrated with computer software.    Irrespective of the reasons to get a new form in the system, every state, county and city police force must use the revised form: “State of West Virginia Uniform Traffic Crash Report.”   Did you notice the word “Crash” in the title of the report?  You can bet the insurance adjuster and defense lawyer noticed it.

So now, even police officers must recognize that they are investigating car “crashes,” not mere “accidents.”    But, old ways are hard to break, and it will take constant reminders to adjusters and even judges to refrain from referring to the police report as an “accident” report.

 Morgantown WV Collision Injury Lawyers

If you or your loved one has been injured due to someone’s careless, negligent conduct 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.

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.

 

Gas Well Flash Fire in Tyler County, WV

Compressor-Fire-1-650x350Authorities are investigating the cause of an explosion at a gas well compression station site in Tyler County.  The Twin Hickories Road compression station explosion happened on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Wick near Middlebourne.  The facility is owned by Marietta, Ohio based Eureka-Hunter.  Three people employed by third-party contractors suffered severe burns and were flown directly to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh.  A fourth employee was injured, but treated and released at a local hospital.

Later, Eureka officials corrected initial reports.  The senior vice president of Eureka Hunter clarified the reported explosion was a flash fire, and the location was a pig receiving station along the pipeline, not a compression station as first reported.  The “pig” is a device to clean out pipelines to remove accumulated liquids.  This particular line carried methane as well as natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane from the wellhead.

At about 7 p.m. on April 11th, Tyler County 911 received a call from a Eureka Hunter employee of an explosion with storage tanks on fire and at least two people injured at the Twin Hickories Road compression station near Wick, W.Va.

Fire and emergency responders were sent to the scene along with the Tyler County Sheriff Deputies. According to a press release, fire units from Shirley, Alma, Middlebourne, Sistersville, as well as Saint Mary’s from Pleasants County and Paden City from Wetzel County, responded.

Two Tanks on Fire near Tyler County Compression Station

“When we arrived on scene we had a track-hoe on fire and two tanks were on fire,” said a member of the Middlebourne VFD. “This was not a well, this was a compressor station.”

It was reported the workers were using a new piece of equipment to “pig” the line. However, it’s unclear what caused the fire. The blaze was intense and rekindled several times due to the heat. He said firemen took more than an hour to get it out.  Early reports indicated the natural gas liquids in the tanks fueled the fire.  The fire remained above ground and did not progress to the underground pipelines.

“We went in and shut the valves off feeding the tanks. What was burning was what was in the tanks on top. It was very flammable,” he said. “It kept reigniting and burning off. We climbed on the tank, shut the lid, and put it out.”

West Virginia Gas Drilling Injury Lawyers – Robinette Legal Group, PLLC

The development of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas drilling in West Virginia provides many jobs to hard-working West Virginians.  West Virginia workers have a long-standing tradition of working hard in spite of dangerous and exhausting conditions.

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 an 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 the cause of your injury was due to faulty equipment or a negligent contractor, you may be entitled to seek additional monetary compensation from that third party.

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 visit our Robinette Legal Group, PLLC website:  http://www.robinettelaw.com

righting_the_wrong_3dBeside_Still_Waters_-_Covers_3DCollision Care

Sources:

http://wvmetronews.com/three-burned-in-compressor-fire/  WV MetroNews, by Chris Lawrence, April 12, 2013

http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/551182/-Flash-fire–in-Tyler-Co–investigated.html?nav=5002

Does it Matter if I Wait to Contact a Lawyer?

gavel and clockDoes it really matter if I wait to contact a lawyer about my wrongful death claim?

If you think that waiting a few months to speak with a lawyer won’t impact your wrongful death claim, think again.  Every day that you wait to seek legal counsel equates to a loss of opportunity to obtain full compensation for your injuries. In reality, it is the first 30 days following the fatal injuries to your deceased family member that are most critical to your case.

It is within this relatively short time period that initial inspections should be completed and necessary evidence and testimony secured. It is always best if a lawyer is consulted within the first few days following the tragic event because certain evidence won’t last even 30 days. If you wait too long to develop your wrongful death claim, it will make the job of even a good lawyer more difficult to obtain a full recovery for the estate.

Waiting even a few weeks to get legal advice about your case may be just enough time for evidence to be lost or destroyed or an important witness to disappear.  Loss of vital evidence and witness testimony will cause permanent shortcomings in your wrongful death case.    Without evidence, you have no way of proving liability against the responsible parties who caused the death of your family member.

You don’t know if or when your evidence will disappear or be destroyed. An important witness to your case will not likely call you up and give you their testimony and forwarding address before they skip town. When they skip town, there goes your evidence, too. And that documentary evidence — the tangible information like records and parts — you need to prove your case can disappear. Nobody is going to alert you to that either.

Also, please keep in mind that West Virginia allows only two years to file suit after the occurrence.  After this time, your claim will be forever barred.

It doesn’t matter if your evidence is accidentally lost or intentionally destroyed; both have the same adverse impact on your fatal injury claim.  All these things happen without you knowing it — these are some of the legal ramifications of waiting too long to get legal counsel.  You don’t have to end up being further harmed — you can exercise your right to consult with your own lawyer about your injury claim today.

For further information about moving forward after a tragic, unexpected death, we offer a free resource for you to help guide you through the process of moving forward with your lives.  Click this link to gain the insight you need today:  Beside Still Waters:  West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide.Beside_Still_Waters_-_Covers_3D

No words or amount of remuneration could ever compensate all that you have lost when your loved one is taken from you.  As you move forward with your life, those who are responsible must be held accountable to give you a sense of justice and closure.  Jeff Robinette and his staff are available to answer your questions.  Every call is handled with compassion, and every case is handled with dignity and professionalism.

Call The Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today:  304-594-1800.

Height of Cowardice: Deadly Hit and Run in Brooklyn

hasidic jewsA baby delivered after his parents were killed in a Brooklyn hit and run accident on Sunday, March 3, 2013, died early Monday morning.

Police were searching for the driver of a BMW and a passenger who fled on foot after slamming into a livery cab, killing the young pregnant woman and her husband.  The horrific crash happened in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn as the couple headed to a hospital when the mother believed that she might have been starting labor.

“This guy’s a coward and he should pay his price,” a community spokesman added that the community wants a homicide prosecution in the state of New York.  Strong words from the community:  “Law enforcement is going to find you.  Give yourself up before we find you.”

A young married couple, both aged 21, were looking forward to welcoming their first child into their tight-knit community of Orthodox Jews.  A year ago this community celebrated the marriage of this young couple, and yesterday over 1,000 had the sorrow of mourning their loss.

The engine of the livery car ended up in the backseat, where the mother, who was seven months pregnant, was sitting before she was ejected from the car.  Her body landed under a parked tractor-trailer, said witnesses who raced to the scene after the crash. The husband was pinned in the car, and emergency workers had to cut off the roof to get him out, witnesses said.

They both were pronounced dead at hospitals, and the medical examiner said they died of blunt-force trauma. Doctors had delivered the baby by cesarean section and lived until early Monday morning.

Neighbors and friends said the boy weighed only about 4 pounds. The livery cab driver was treated for minor injuries at the hospital and was later released. Both the driver of the BMW and a passenger fled and were being sought, police said.

Hit and Run Drivers Need to be Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law

Car accidents are sometimes understandable mistakes or are simply unavoidable. But as soon as drivers flee the scene in order to avoid responsibility, the accident becomes a crime. In cases like this one, families often file wrongful death lawsuits against hit-and-run drivers in addition to criminal charges.

We need to send a message to hit-and-run drivers which is:  “You will be caught, and you will be prosecuted, so don’t make matters worse for yourself or anyone else involved.”

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books and downloads for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families. We are glad to answer your questions about hit and run accidents.

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/williamsburg-hit-and-run-expecting-parents-baby_n_2805203.html?ncid=webmail1

Ambulance EMT Killed in Collision With a Truck on I-79

Collision care photoAn ambulance and a flatbed semi-truck collided on Interstate 79 south near Weston Tuesday morning and closed the highway for almost two hours on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.

Jan-Care Ambulance Services confirmed Tuesday morning that a Jan-Care EMT died following the accident on Interstate 79 in Lewis County.

A Jan-Care ambulance was returning to the station from an EMS transport when it collided with a flatbed semi-truck Tuesday morning, according to the Director of Operations at Jan-Care Ambulance Services.

Lewis County sheriff’s deputy said Jan-Care EMT, a passenger in the ambulance, was injured in the accident and later died as a result of his injuries at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital.  The ambulance’s driver was treated and released.  No patient was on-board the ambulance at the time of the accident.

A spokesman of Jan-Care reflected that “It is a real tragedy when something like this happens to someone who has devoted so much time and effort to helping others.”

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Department said the driver and passenger of the semi-truck involved in the fatal crash were not injured.

The collision happened south of the Weston exit at mile marker 97.5. Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and the Weston Fire Department were called to the scene.  Drivers on I-79 south of Weston were stuck for an hour and a half until crews opened the shoulder to allow them to pass through.

The cause of the accident is unknown.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and State Police are investigating the accident.Collision Care

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families. We are glad to answer your questions.

Source:  WBOY News, by reporter Stacy Moniot, 01/15/2013:  http://www.wboy.com/story/20589835/update-emt-dead-following-i-79-accident-in-lewis-county

Injured in WV? Get the Facts.

Free Books for WV Accident Victims:

Beside Still WatersRighting the WrongsCollision Care

Click on the book image for immediate download, or if you are a WV injury victim, call 1-304-594-1800 or email our office today to have a softcover book sent to your home at no cost or obligation to you.

Collision Care: A Guide for West Virginia Accident Victims will give you the basic facts that you must know in order to make the best decisions for your present and future circumstances and to help you achieve the best result possible regarding your injury claim. (87 pages)

Righting the Wrong: West Virginia Serious Injury Guide provides serious injury victims and their families essential information about the insurance claims process to enable them to maximize their efforts to rebuild their lives. (161 pages)

Beside Still Waters: West Virginia Fatal Injury Guide provides surviving family members the information they need in order to pick up the pieces of their lives to enable them to rebuild a financial future for themselves and their children. (123 pages)

Click on a book cover image for a free immediate download, or if you are an injury victim or family member, call our office today to have a softcover copy sent to your home. Due to limited availability, there is a limit of one book per family.

All of these books can also be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble for $16.95 each, plus shipping, but if you act now, Jeff will send it to you at No Cost or obligation.

Some of the useful information you will find in these books:

  • What Are My Legal Rights?
  • What Is Legal Liability?
  • What Is Comparative Fault? What happens if we were both at fault?
  • How Do I Prove My Claim? What documentation must I provide?
  • For What Damages May I Receive Compensation?
  • Do I Really Need A Lawyer? How to choose the right lawyer for your case.
  • Can I Afford A Lawyer?
  • Financial Motivation Of The Insurance Company – to minimize their pay-outs and maximize their own profit.
  • What is wrongful death?
  • Statements and Authorizations – Think twice and get advice before you sign that release!
  • Social Media Traps and insurance company surveillance of your activities.
  • Spoliation of Evidence, vehicle salvage issues.
  • And much, much more!

Bonus Information: The Anatomy of a Real-life Injury Case and 10 Ways to Ruin Your Case

Our Mission
Morgantown lawyer and principal attorney, Jeff Robinette, shares what he believes is the mission of the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC. The primary objective of a personal injury law firm is to help the average person who has been the victim of negligence against the powerful resources of the insurance industry.

About the Author:

Jeffery L RobinetteJeffery Robinette is a personal injury lawyer with decades of insurance litigation and trial experience in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Prior to representing injured individuals exclusively, Mr. Robinette was a partner in a major West Virginia law firm where he focused his legal practice on defending serious personal injury and wrongful death claims and lawsuits stemming from auto and truck collisions. He has also represented the nation’s largest and most powerful insurance companies at all levels of litigation including jury trials and appeals in state and federal courts in West Virginia.

Mr. Robinette taught insurance companies and their adjusters how to follow insurance laws and regulations, including how to adjust insurance claims in good faith. He was a frequent speaker at insurance conferences on West Virginia insurance law.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers.  Call us today: 304-594-1800.  We are glad to answer your questions.

 

Wife of Gas Drilling Worker Sues for Wrongful Death

Fracking rigThe wife of a Weston man killed in fatal crash in Monongalia County is suing for wrongful death.  This woman’s husband was killed last July when he and a coworker were ejected from their vehicle.  Now his widow is suing her husband’s employer, Nabors Well Services for negligence and wrongful death.

She said Nabors knew her husband and coworker had worked more than 30 hours in a 48-hour span.  The wife of the deceased is also is suing the driver of the vehicle for negligence causing wrongful death.  The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries.  Federal laws regulate how many miles a truck driver can travel per day, per week and on consecutive days. All too often, however, truck drivers push these limits to increase profits or because they are pressured by their employers.

The Nabors companies own and operate approximately 521 land drilling and approximately 607 land workover and well-servicing rigs in North America.  Nabors Industries is an oilfield service company involved in every phase of oil and gas drilling and production.  Nabors advertises that they promote safety in the workplace and full compliance with the laws and regulations of the countries in which it operates.

Gas Well Drilling Operations are riddled with risks to Workers:

Oil and gas workers face many risks inherent to their job which may include: explosions, workplace 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.

Giving the many dangers, some of which may be unmanageable by these companies, the greatest attention needs to be giving to ensuring that safety regulations are consistently followed to maximize safety for their employees.

Hazards of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving (driving 30 hours in 48 definitely qualifies) is a known hazard and is preventable.  We all know how dangerous driving under the influence or texting while driving is, but driving while drowsy can be equally dangerous. Sleepiness can cause slower reaction times, blurred vision, lapses in judgment, and delays in processing information.

No employee should be put in a position of driving with such sleep deprivation which causes his reaction ability to be about equal with a person who is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Individual people are irreplaceable to their families and loved ones, but the rest of the family will need to attempt to build a new life without the love and financial support of this accident victim.  This wife was correct in filing a wrongful death suit.  Companies must be held accountable for maintaining as safe as possible work environments for their employees and should be heavily penalized when they don’t.

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Injury Lawyers. Free books for WV accident victims — Call us today: 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families. We are glad to answer your questions.

 

Major Gas Line Explosion along I-77

I-77 Sissonville gas line explosion

On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, a major gas line explosion along I-77 near Sissonville, WV ignited homes in a nearby residential area and shut down all four lanes of traffic.  The flames were so hot under I-77 that it melted the concrete. There have been no reported fatalities.  Thanks to the DOT employees who worked all night,  Interstate 77 has been reopened.  Flames were shooting up to 75 high as crews shut off the gas supply.  Commissioner Kent Carper reports the fire was extinguished shortly before 2:00 p.m., but the heavy odor of gas is thick in the air near the area of the explosion.

Columbia Gas confirmed that one of its transmission lines was the source of the blast. Columbia Gas employees and first responders are working to assess the situation and accommodate the residents. Columbia Gas is still working to determine the cause of the explosion.

Patients in a nearby nursing home not far from the area have been declared to be safe, but it is not known if anyone has been injured by the explosion. Authorities were worried about the possibility of another explosion and were evacuating nearby residents.

“In all my years of experience, this is the biggest fire I’ve ever seen,” said Kanawha County Fire Coordinator C.W. Sigman.

Sigman said a 20-inch gas transmission line ruptured, sending a massive sheet of flames shooting skyward.

Sigman said several homes were burned, but emergency officials were still trying to determine if there were any injuries or fatalities. Emergency crews rescued several people who sought shelter behind the burning homes, he said.  A total of four homes were destroyed and five more were damaged by the blaze.

Sigman said the flames were so hot under I-77 that it melted the concrete. Guardrails melted, utility poles burned, an ordinarily reflective green interstate sign was burned down to white metal and the blast blew a huge hole in the road, throwing dirt, rocks and debris across the interstate. Four lanes are gone.  It was remarkable that no motorists were injured.

The explosion happened just before 1 p.m., and the immediate fire reportedly crossed the interstate itself. A photo taken by Kanawha County Emergency Services shows stories-tall flames covering both northbound and southbound lanes of the interstate.

Metro 911 reported several buildings caught fire. Crews apparently extinguished the fire just before 2 p.m. but a large amount of fumes remained in the air, said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.

State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said around 2:45 p.m. that there was no word on injuries or fatalities related to the explosion and following fire. Paramedics and emergency responders are going into homes and apartments now to check on residents, he said.

Emergency responders’ biggest concern is the possibility of a secondary explosion. Residents living in the vicinity are being asked to ready their things to evacuate.

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. – A gas line explosion this afternoon in Sissonville caused a massive fire that burned several buildings, melted part of Interstate 77 and sent huge flames into the sky.

Authorities were worried about the possibility of another explosion and were evacuating nearby residents.

“In all my years of experience, this is the biggest fire I’ve ever seen,” said Kanawha County Fire Coordinator C.W. Sigman.

Sigman said a 20-inch gas transmission line ruptured, sending a massive sheet of flames shooting skyward.

Sigman said several homes were burned, but emergency officials were still trying to determine if there were any injuries or fatalities. Emergency crews rescued several people who sought shelter behind the burning homes, he said.

Sigman said The explosion happened just before 1 p.m., and the immediate fire reportedly crossed the interstate itself. A photo taken by Kanawha County Emergency Services shows stories-tall flames covering both northbound and southbound lanes of the interstate.

Metro 911 reported several buildings caught fire. Crews apparently extinguished the fire just before 2 p.m. but a large amount of fumes remained in the air, said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.

State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said around 2:45 p.m. that there was no word on injuries or fatalities related to the explosion and following fire. Paramedics and emergency responders are going into homes and apartments now to check on residents, he said.

Emergency responders’ biggest concern is the possibility of a secondary explosion. Residents living in the vicinity are being asked to ready their things to evacuate.

Baylous did not know the exact location where the explosion occurred but it’s near where Derricks Creek Road meets W.Va. 21, he said.

Two KRT buses were at Sissonville High School ready to evacuate people at 3 p.m. Several other buses were on standby.

Several people were transported from the scene for smoke inhalation-related injuries, Metro 911 dispatchers said. Some were being treated at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Sissonville, where an emergency shelter was established.

Gas company crews were working to turn gas pipelines off, according to Kanawha County Emergency Management officials. Gas crews had shut off one side of the gas pipe by 1:30 p.m.

Residents in the area were asked to shelter in place, according to Kanawha County Metro 911.

Kanawha County Schools sent out an automatic notification that students and others at Flinn Elementary, Sissonville Elementary, Sissonville Middle and Sissonville High schools will shelter in place until roads reopen. Once the roads have reopened, the students will be taken home, according to the message.

Students at Sissonville High School were sheltering in the gym just before 3 p.m.

W.Va. 21 was closed except for emergency vehicle traffic.

Source:  WV Charleston Gazette

Submitted by the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, West Virginia Workplace Injury/Wrongful Death Lawyers. Free books — Call us today: 304-594-1800 for your free copy of Righting the Wrong: WV Serious Injury Guide; Collision Care: WV Auto Injury Guide; or Beside Still Waters: WV Fatal Injury Guide for Families.