1 of 2 well fires in Dunkard Twp. extinguished

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DUNKARD TOWNSHIP, Pa. —

One of two gas wells that have been burning in Dunkard Township since Tuesday’s explosion was extinguished Saturday morning.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection Director John Ryder said while one well has been extinguished, the other continues to burn with one employee still unaccounted for.

All operations to remove equipment from the burning well pad continued Saturday morning, with the last piece, a charred crane, being the last piece needing to be removed. Ryder said the crane is enabling the well to continue burning due to its extreme temperature, but once it is removed, efforts to extinguish the remaining well fire will become easier.

However, Ryder said the biggest operation occurring at present is getting water to the site. According to Ryder, the DEP has given a temporary permit to Wild Well Control to withdraw up to 1.15 million gallons per day from Dunkard Creek as part of the efforts to bring water to the site.

Ryder added earlier that no one who lives in the area is at risk.

“They’ve established a safe perimeter.  There’s no reason for concern.  Highly trained and skilled professionals take control of the well.  They’re working very hard,” he said.

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