Many people across the country, including in the surrounding Missouri and Illinois communities, view the risks associated with the hydraulic fracturing industry with understandable nervousness. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is often called, refers to using machinery to drill deep into the earth to reach shale formations, which are then blasted at high forces with a mixture of chemicals, sand, and water to fracture the shale. This then releases the deposits of gas and oil formerly trapped inside the shale deposits. Unfortunately, there are many hazards associated with fracking, including the risk of a fracking gas leak that could lead to gas explosions and fires.
This became the harsh reality for 25 families in another state after a gas leak at a fracking site forced officials to evacuate 25 homes for at least a three-day period. The fracking well was in the process of being reopened after having been plugged and abandoned for the past year. According to reports, the company that owned the well had started production operations on the well recently, only to have the well start leaking in late December.
The 25 families that were evacuated in the wake of the leak were allowed to return to their residences only during the daytime, and have been denied access at night due to safety concerns. The primary fear is that the gas leak could easily ignite into an explosion and/or fire. If this leak does turn into a more dangerous incident, it would not be the first such mishap related to gas wells. A Chevron-owned gas well developed a leak in early 2014 that later caught fire, resulting in the death of a contract employee in Pennsylvania. Another gas well caught fire just off the coast of Louisiana in 2013.
In Ohio, residents have been forced to flee their homes due to the risks associated with natural gas leaks at least twice in just the past year. Officials evacuated some 400 households in Oct. 2014 due to a gas leak at another Ohio fracking site, although residents were not kept from their homes for nearly as long as the more recent incident. Residents in Morgan County also had to flee their homes after a gas and oil leak occurred back in May.
Some are concerned with the growing use of fracking over the past years, even calling it a fracking “boom” and expressing fears that it may lead to further dangers if its use continues growing at too great a speed. Leaking wells pose not just the danger for natural gas leaks and gas explosions, certain individuals claim that it also poses a potential environmental hazard due to methane leaking into the air.
Those Missouri and Illinois residents who have suffered personal injury due to gas explosions and fires, whether due to a fracking gas leak or some other cause, may benefit from consulting with an attorney who is experienced in practicing personal injury and toxic tort law. Please consider contacting our St. Louis personal injury law firm toll-free by dialing 1-888-586-7041. After arranging a free initial consultation, we can help you understand the rights that the law provides for you to seek financial restitution through the filing of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. This can help restore you to the same economic status that you enjoyed before the gas explosion or fire which injured you or your loved one.
Disclaimer: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Sources: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/17/3604580/25-families-flee-gas-leak-fracking-well/ and http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/12/17/families-flee-out-of-control-natural-gas-leak.html