The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is investigating an incident at an Antero Resources gas well site on Dog Run Road in Salem, Harrison County that hospitalized at least one person on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Gas well workers were preparing to put a well online when they performed a pressure test on the well, a standard procedure before moving into the production phase, when the test failed and caused a burst of gas to knock a worker back 20 feet. The worker hit his head and was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. That man was treated and released Saturday, said Antero Resources Regional Vice President Al Schopp. Three other workers were injured, including a man who tried to leave the area following the burst of gas, and tripped and fell, causing him to knock out a few teeth, Schopp said. He was also treated and released. The two other men were treated on site for minor injuries, Schopp said.
The workers are employed by an Antero Resources contractor, J & A Services. Two DEP inspectors arrived at the site on Saturday to review the incident. The inspectors said that there didn't seem to be any environmental concerns, citing that there wasn't a spill or gas escape as a result of the incident, said W.Va. DEP spokesperson Kathy Cosco. Schopp said Monday that OSHA had been notified and that all four of the men involved have returned to work.
J & A Services voluntarily ceased operations following the airline rupture but has since resumed operations. DEP inspectors are still assessing the site and no citations have been issued at this time, Cosco said.