Gas well explodes in Decatur



Posted on March 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 19 at 1:43 PM

Gas well fire

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There has been an explosion at a gas well near Decatur, say police.

The Decatur city manager said tank batteries blew up on Farm-to-Market Road 51, about four miles outside of town.

Four tanks were on fire; the blaze, at one point, spread from tanker to tanker. A fifth storage tanker was blown well away from the site. Around 1 p.m., firefighters got the flames under control.

There are reports of two burn victims.

“Initial information is that there is a work project going on, installing four tanks. A worker was welding and there was an explosion that occurred. Two of them were burned, minor burns, first degree, like a sun burn. One started having respiratory difficulties, so they flew him to Parkland hospital. The other one went by car to the local hospital,” said the Wise County fire marshal, Marc Dodd.

"One guy was on a ladder and he got blown off," said Brandon Evans from the Wise County Messenger.

Crews had to transport water to the site to extinguish the fire.

The blaze did not threaten any structures.

After a well is drilled, tank batteries are installed, to hold oil that comes out of the well. There is not an active well being drilled at this location.