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Two die in US fracking incidents

14 November 2014

Fracking sites claimed two lives in Ohio and Colorado last week, the latest in a string of casualties at shale gas and oil wells over the last six months. An electrical contractor working at a fracking site in Noble County, Ohio, died in an explosion on November 12 at a site operated by Blue Racer Midstream.

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The contractor was testing and calibrating electrical components on a pump at the site when the explosion occurred. The pump moves condensate from wells into pipelines that lead to processing facilities.

A Blue Racer spokeswoman, quoted by the Columbus Dispatch, said the company had not yet determined what caused the explosion.

At a northern Colorado fracking site in Weld County on the same day, a man was killed and two others seriously injured when a frozen high-pressure water line ruptured. One man was hit by a stream of water or fracking fluid and was killed by the impact. The men at the Colorado site were working for Halliburton.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating both incidents.
The explosion was the second major incident in Ohio in two weeks for Blue Racer. On October 28, a Blue Racer pipeline caught fire in Monroe County, burned several acres of woods and forced families from their homes.

There have been several other incidents at fracking sites in Ohio this year, according to the Dispatch. A well in Jefferson County ruptured in October, releasing natural gas and methane into the air and forcing the evacuation of nearby homes. In June, a fire at a Monroe County well pad caused a spill that stretched 5 miles along a creek and killed more than 70,000 fish, birds and animals.


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