‘Industrial Accident’ at Pennsylvania Gas Well Injures 2

June 21, 2010

An accident at a natural gas well in northern Pennsylvania injured two workers who were flown to a hospital for treatment, state officials said.

Tioga County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Dennis Colegrove said what he called an “industrial accident” happened at an Ultra Resources well in Gaines Township on Friday morning.

“Basically a pipe coupling came apart and two workers were injured,” Colegrove said.

Nels Taber, north central region director of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said both workers were taken by air to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre. He says a piece of metal hit one worker in the head, causing a skull laceration, and the other had broken ribs.

Hospital officials said Saturday they could not release information about their condition.

Taber said the well was being readied for production but was shut down for the remainder of the day Friday. He said he expected the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate along with the company.

Ultra Resources did not immediately return a call seeking comment Saturday.

Earlier this month, a well blowout in central Pennsylvania’s Clearfield County spewed natural gas and wastewater into the air for 16 hours before it was brought under control, but there were no injuries.

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