By Pittsburgh Business Times

A gas well explosion has been reported in Indiana Township this morning, with two fatalities resulting from the blast, according to Kevin Evanto, a spokesman for Allegheny County.

"There were three employees on-site. Two of them were working directly on the well and were killed. The third one was far enough away and was not injured," Evanto said.

Police, firefighters and hazmat teams are on the ground, he said, but have been unable to contain the fire thus far nor approach the well closely enough to shut off the gas.

"What we know for certain is that there were workers welding equipment at the site" when the well caught on fire, said Helen Humphreys, a spokeswoman for the local DEP office. "Our primary concern right now is working with first responders to put the fire out and shut the well in."

The well, which was completed in 2008, has had two inspections since then with no violations found, according to DEP's eFacts database. It is a shallow, non-Marcellus Shale well belonging to Monroeville-based driller Huntley & Huntley Inc.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010