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One Minor Injury in Marshall County Well Pad Fire

SHERRARD ­– Officials in Marshall County responded to a well pad Friday night on Sorghum Ridge after calls were placed to 911 reporting what sounded like a possible explosion at a well pad.

The initial calls were received at around 7:30 p.m. Friday, when emergency personnel from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Agency and local fire and emergency medical service agencies responded to the scene.

According to Marshall County EMA Director Tom Hart, there was no explosion, but a piece of equipment on the well pad apparently malfunctioned and caught fire. One worker on the site suffered minor injuries and was treated on the scene, then released, Hart said.

“We received multiple 911 calls about what sounded like an explosion on the well pad,” Hart said. “When fire and EMS arrived on the scene, they found a piece of equipment on fire. They believe there was a pressure release that sounded like an explosion.”

Investigators were on the scene Friday night investigating the cause of the incident. Hart said officials from Southwest Energy, which operates the well pad, also arrived on the scene to assist with the investigation.

Southwest Energy performed a temporary emergency shutdown of the well pad’s operation following the incident as a precautionary measure, Hart said.

Fire officials were able to put out the blaze. Initially it was believed that a condensate tank on the site may have exploded, but officials said the tanks on the site and the well pad itself were not involved in any explosion.

“It’s still under investigation,” said Marshall County Sheriff Bill Helms. “The small fire was contained. One worker there was treated for a lower leg injury. Whatever it was that happened there, it was heard by people a fairly good distance from the well pad.”

The site on Sorghum Ridge is located between W.Va. 88 and Big Wheeling Creek, officials said.

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