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Chevron pays $5 million to family of Pennsylvania well fire victim

01 June 2015

According to Reuters, Chevron has paid a reported $5 million to settle a lawsuit filed last year by the parents of a worker who died in a gas well fire in western Pennsylvania. Local media said the $5 million settlement had been approved by a judge in Pittsburgh earlier this month.

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A Chevron spokesman, Cameron Van Ast, told Reuters that the case has been resolved in a way that allows all parties to move forward. 

Ian McKee died February 11, 2014, when he went to investigate the sound of gas escaping under high pressure at the Chevron Lanco 7H well in Greene County, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh.
The escaping gas exploded, killing McKee and starting a fire that burned for four days. Chevron called in specialty fire fighting crews to bring the well fire under control.

A report in August by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection blamed the disaster on errors by another inexperienced worker and a supervisor who failed to make sure a lock pin was tightened properly. All three worked for Cameron International, a Houston-based company hired by Chevron to bring its wells into production and keep them flowing properly.

Chevron Appalachia LLC also agreed to pay a $940,000 fine levied by the state Department of Environmental Protection over the well explosion and fire.

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